Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities

Certain rights and duties apply to landlords and tenants everywhere in Minnesota. This handbook attempts to explain those rights. It should not be considered legal advice to use in resolving specific landlord-tenant problems or questions. It is a summary of the laws that govern the landlord-tenant relationship. When references are provided, they are signaled or noted by a number at the end of the sentence. If a cite does not appear, the information is likely from common law or case law.

Tenants in federal housing and other forms of subsidized housing have additional rights under federal law not covered in this handbook. Those tenants should check their leases for information.

Minnesota Statutes § 504B.181, subd. 2(b) requires landlords to notify residential tenants that this handbook is available to them.

This brochure is intended to be used as a source for general information and is not provided as legal advice.

Table of Contents

The following is a table of contents for the Landlords and Tenants Handbook. You may click on the headers for more information on that topic.

Entering into the Agreement

  • Inspecting the Unit Before Signing a Lease
  • Screening Fees and Pre-Lease Fees
  • Security Deposits
  • Residential Tenant Reports
  • Move-in Inspection
  • The Lease
  • Required Disclosures to the Tenant
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Unlawful Destruction of Property
  • Alterations

During the Tenancy

  • The Rent
  • Tenant’s Right to Privacy
  • Tenants May Seek Police and Emergency Assistance
  • Repair Problems
  • Neighborhood Organizations
  • Lead-Based Paint
  • Uninhabitable or Condemned Buildings

Ending the Tenancy

  • Proper Notice
  • Right of Victims of Violence to Terminate Lease
  • Three-Day Notice During Winter
  • Move-out Inspection
  • Refund of the Security Deposit

Other Important Laws

  • Background Checks of Property Managers
  • Housing Courts
  • Eviction
  • Retaliation
  • Unlawful Exclusions and Property Confiscation
  • Utility Shut-Offs
  • Cold Weather Rule
  • Tenant’s Right to a Tax Credit (CRP)
  • Discrimination
  • Accessible Units
  • Landlord Disclosure
  • Subleasing
  • Abandoned Property
  • Expanded Definition of “Tenant”
  • Smoking in Common Areas
  • Manufactured Home Park Residents


  • References
  • Resource Directory

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