10 Tenant Rights Minneapolis-St. Paul Renters Should Know

Renters — especially first-time renters — might leave it to the landlords to understand the legalities of their lease. But knowing the tenant rights Minneapolis renters have can save you money and hassle.

1. Your landlord can’t just pop in.

Although Minnesota law dictates that your landlord must make a good faith effort to give tenants reasonable notice before entering your apartment for reasonable business purposes, there is no set minimum time frame.

2. Late-night noise is a nuisance.

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have regulations to prohibit ‘noisy assemblies’ of two or more people between 10 pm and 6 am, if it’s likely to annoy a person of ‘normal sensitivities.’

3. You get a piece of the property tax refund.

If you rent a unit from a landlord subject to property taxes, you’re possibly entitled to a part of the taxes you’re paying with your rent. Not every tenant qualifies, depending on income and rent. Pick up an M-1RP form at tax time just to be sure.

4. You have legal options if your unit is in poor repair.

Notify your landlord in writing about any lease or code violations, and keep a copy of the letter. If he or she doesn’t correct the problem in 14 days, submit the letter and your rent check to the court administrator to be held in escrow.

5. There is a limit to late fees.

Struggling to pay this month’s rent on time? Your Minnesota late fees can’t exceed 8% of the overdue rental fee. (Unless a federal program is involved.)

6. You can sue a sublessor for unpaid rent.

Get everything in writing — both your landlord’s agreement and your arrangement with the sublessor. If they don’t pay rent, it legally falls to you to pay, but you can sue to get it back.

7. You have the right to your rights.

You have protections to exercise your tenant rights in good faith. If your landlord attempts to evict you within 90 days you exercising your rights, they need to prove that the actions aren’t retaliatory.

Worried About Your Security Deposit?

8. There’s no limit on how much your security deposit can be.

Specifically, you can’t be charged for routine carpet cleaning or painting. If you’ve caused excessive damage, however, the deductions are legal.

9. But there is a minimum limit on the interest it incurs.

Security deposits for leases signed after 2003 must incur at least 1% interest, which you should get back (unless the landlord needs it to cover damage to the unit).

10. Your landlord has only 21 days to return your deposit.

And that also applies to a list of any deductions taken out. The countdown starts on the last day of tenancy.

To learn more about tenant rights Minneapolis renters have, visit AG.State.MN.us, MNCourts.gov, or HomelineMN.org. To find an Minneapolis apartment, visit Rentable.

*This information does not constitute legal advice, and many of these laws carry exceptions.