Most landlords want to rent out a residential property (or a commercial one) and realize how crucial a lease agreement is. It sets the foundation and ensures a good experience for all parties involved. However, crafting one can seem daunting.

Despite the fact that they can protect the tenant, lease agreements have to protect the landlord's best interest. In the lease, you tell prospects what they should know about your property and the terms of living there. Minnesota leases must include all the terms and conditions for renting the property, including termination terms and rent.

Commercial vs. Standard

A lease (commercial or residential) is a contract signed by the landlord of the property and the tenant. This document states the rules for inhabiting the unit, including monthly rent payments and security deposits.

The owner is allowed to ask about the tenant's rental history. The agreement can be drafted with negotiated terms if necessary. A Minnesota sublease agreement works similarly.

What to Include

Lease agreements must abide by the rental laws in Minnesota. However, the tenant and landlord benefit from them because they discuss how to use the property. Here are a few things to include:


Minnesota has no laws in place about paying rent or due dates. There's no grace period required for the tenant, so rent is late if not produced on the day the lease specifies. In effect, the landlord can require the tenant to pay rent on any day of the month.

Security Deposit

The owner can charge any security deposit amount they want. However, the landlord has the right to request it for the upkeep of the premises after the tenant vacates.

Typically, the security deposit must be returned to the tenant within three weeks of vacating.

Landlord's Right to Enter

The lease document doesn't have to include right-to-entry information. However, the owner or landlord must give the tenant a reasonable amount of time before entering, though this isn't specified.

Lease Termination and Evictions

The tenant signs a contract and promises to abide by the terms. If that doesn't happen, the landlord can stop the tenancy through eviction. Reasons for this include:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Violate lease terms (damage to the unit, smoking, not complying with housing codes, etc.)
  • Conducting illegal activities (theft, prostitution, etc.)

Build Your Own

Mandatory Disclosure

The law requires the landlord to provide the potential tenant with some or all of these disclosures:

  • Landlord Name and Address - Landlords must give tenants their name and address to create a line of communication for any notice requirements. Any person authorized must be listed within the contract.
  • Late Fees - The late fee must be outlined in the agreement to be enforceable. It should include the amount and date it is charged. The late fee can't exceed eight percent of the tenants' overdue balance. When rent isn't paid by the due date in the lease, the landlord may add a fee after the three-day grace period date has passed.
  • Financial Distress - Minnesota landlords must disclose if a property offered for rent is pending foreclosure. Landlords may only enter into a periodic lease agreement with a rental term of two months or less. The notice of foreclosure can be remedied to extend the agreement. Typically, a notice of mortgage foreclosure sale or deed cancellation is provided to the landlord who notifies tenants before they rent. The deed cancellation is public knowledge.
  • Shared Utilities - The property manager or landlord who manages multi-unit buildings with one utility meter should be the bill payer. Therefore, the landlord is responsible for the whole premises and should disclose that information within the rental agreement. They should list how charges are distributed, total utility costs for the shared meter, a breakdown of shared charges for up to two years before (upon request), and more.
  • Covenant of Landlord/Tenant - The landlord and tenant promise not to perform illegal activities. Landlords must provide notice in the agreement outlining legal obligations for the tenant and landlord. This notice must state that both parties maintain legal use of the property and can't allow unlawful activities. It should state that both parties promise not to allow unlawful activities within the premises, common area, or property boundaries. These include controlled substances, property obtained through robbery, stolen property, prostitution-related activity, and domestic violence, as defined by the MN statute section 504B.206 against an authorized occupant or person. They also promise that those aforementioned areas aren't used by themselves or others under their control to sell, manufacture, give away, deliver, barter, distribute, purchase, exchange, or possess a controlled substance that violates the state statutes for criminal provision in any conspicuous place.
  • Lead-based Paint - Federal law states that homes built before 1978 have to disclose the risk of lead-based paint if on the premises. Landlords must fill out a form and attach it to the agreement, and offer an Environmental Protection Agency-approved pamphlet about its dangers. The notice must also include additional reports and records as available.
  • Outstanding Inspection Orders - If inspectors issue citations for code violations of the common area that might threaten the occupants' health and safety, the landlord must provide copies of the orders to the tenants. Inspection orders for code violations that don't affect safety or health must be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises, whereby the tenants can request copies from the landlord.

Using DoorLoop

Every property manager finds it challenging to create a contract initially. Everything in the document must be correct and perfect so that prospective tenants understand their rights and requirements.

Therefore, property management software is crucial. DoorLoop helps you upload your customized rental application and lease agreements in seconds, auto-filling them with appropriate information.

The landlord can even perform tenant screening with one click, getting a background check to handpick the best people for the rental property. Landlords are allowed to charge a non-refundable fee for that service.

Use the free form to request a demo of DoorLoop and experience everything it has to offer. Use it now to craft contracts that work.


What does your lease signature process look like? If it takes longer than five minutes, there's room for improvement.

With DoorLoop, you can have your leases eSigned by tenants in a few seconds, in addition to creating reusable lease templates that are autofilled with tenants' information.

DoorLoop also makes it quick and easy to attract the best tenants in the first place by posting your listings on popular websites Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads,, and more. You can also screen your prospects in seconds in DoorLoop with TransUnion. The best part? Paper applications and leases are a thing of the past! Everything can get done within minutes, leaving you to focus on what matters most: giving your tenants the best possible experience.

For more information about DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.


A lease is a contract that legally binds the tenant and landlord to the rules. It's often hard to do it all alone, but DoorLoop helps you get started with a free form. Craft leases in minutes and ensure that they're updated and focused on the laws in Minnesota.


How long is a lease agreement in Minnesota?

The agreement term is one year in Minnesota. Leases can be six months, and longer leases are permissible. However, the tenant and landlord must agree in writing for them to be valid.

Can lease agreements automatically renew in Minnesota?

Yes, the lease agreement may automatically renew with a renewal clause for leases two months or greater. However, the tenant is required to notify the landlord if they want to discontinue tenancy.

Is a lease agreement legally binding?

Yes, signing a lease makes it legally binding. However, a verbal agreement between the tenant and landlord may also be enforced. Therefore, most landlords request a lease signing to make things easier.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!