A Minnesota eviction notice is a written notification given to the tenant by the landlord or their agent (most commonly a property management company). It informs the tenant that they violated the lease agreement in some way. They are given a certain amount of time to correct the issue or vacate the property. Eviction notices are the first step in the eviction process. These notices are more commonly known as a notice to quit. Minnesota eviction notices must comply with the state’s landlord-tenant laws.
Because Minnesota eviction notices are the first step in the legal eviction process, it’s important that the notices contain the right information and that they are legally served upon the tenant. First, we’ll discuss the components that belong in an eviction notice. Then, we’ll discuss the service methods that landlords or property management companies may use. Finally, we’ll look at the most commonly used notices to quit and the additional information they must contain aside from the general components.
All Minnesota eviction notices should include:
In Minnesota, service requirements depend on the county. You’ll want to either check with the court, legal aid, or a landlord-tenant lawyer to learn about the county where the rental property is located. However, it is usually accomplished by personally serving the tenant or mailing the notice via certified mail and posting a copy of it somewhere that the tenant should be able to find it (such as the front door).
Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
Minnesota differs from most other states because landlords may issue an immediate notice to quit for non-compliance of the lease. They don’t have to give the tenant 3 days, 5 days, or 7 days. For lease violations that aren’t non-payment of rent, the landlord can essentially issue a notice that states the specific lease violates and give their own time frame to correct the issue or leave. Landlords may use this notice for illegal activities that occur on the property as well as other violations of the lease agreement. This notice is governed by § 504B.285.
14-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment of Rent
A 14-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent is an eviction notice used by landlords if the tenant is late on their rent. This is only used for tenancy at-will. Any other form of tenancy where the rent is late can involve an immediate notice to quit for non-compliance. This notice gives the tenant 14 days to pay the rent or to vacate the property. It should list the total amount of rent that is due, how it must be paid, and when it must be paid by. Minnesota is unique when it comes to non-payment of rent because tenants have the ability to “pay and stay” even on the date of eviction. If they pay on the court date, they generally must also pay the costs the landlord paid to file the lawsuit. This notice must comply with § 504B.291 and § 504B1.35.
30-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancy
A 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy isn’t an eviction notice in the traditional sense. It can be used by the landlord or the tenant to notify the other party that possession of the rental property will revert to the landlord in 30 days. While it is called a 30-day notice, it is important to remember that the notice period is actually based on when the tenant pays rent. For example, if the tenant pays rent every 90 days, then it would be a 90-day notice. The date to vacate should be included in this letter regardless of whether it is created by the landlord or the tenant. This letter should comply with § 504B1.35.
As you may have noticed from the information above, Minnesota has specific requirements for various eviction notices. That includes how eviction notices are served. However, not all evictions are legal. Unless a landlord has a court order (and remember that tenants may pay their rent even on the day an eviction hearing is scheduled as long as they also pay the landlord’s court fees), they may not shut off utilities, replace the locks, or remove the belongings of the tenant. Landlords may not issue an eviction notice because of the actual or perceived race, color, religious preferences, nationality, gender, disability, or family status (this includes pregnancy and the presence of minor children). It is also illegal for landlords to issue an eviction notice against tenants who report the property or the landlord for code violations.
Minnesota tenants have rights even during the eviction process. If you’re being evicted because you didn’t pay your rent, you should know that you can usually pay your rent even on the day of an eviction hearing and be allowed to remain on property provided that you also pay the fees the landlord spent to file the eviction lawsuit against you. You should also understand that unlike other states, the landlord can determine their own timeline for correction or for you to vacate the property. If you’re an at-will tenant and you don’t pay your rent on time, you have 14 days to pay your rent.
Under Legal Considerations, we discussed illegal evictions. If you believe that you received an illegal eviction notice, you should speak with a landlord-tenant attorney. They can let you know whether the eviction was illegal. If it was not legal, they can advise you of your legal rights and options. You may be able to sue the landlord for financial compensation.
You can contact the landlord or the property management company who issued the eviction notice if you have any questions. It can be upsetting to receive an eviction notice. Make sure that you do your best to stay calm while you’re on the phone. You can also contact Hamline University School of Law, University of Minnesota Law School, or William Mitchell College of Law and ask if they have a legal clinic. Legal clinics provide low-cost or free legal representation or advice for certain legal matters. You can also contact a legal aid office near you. Keep in mind that legal aid often has income guidelines that you must meet in order to qualify for their help. However, legal aid also has many valuable resources to help you understand your rights as a tenant.
Landlords should do the research or make an appointment with a landlord-tenant lawyer in the county where the property is located because the service requirements differ from county to county. Landlords should remember that the timeline of the eviction notice depends on the type of tenancy and the type of eviction notice being issued. Additionally, landlords may not engage in the illegal eviction practices we discussed under Legal Considerations. If they do, they may be sued by the tenant and, if found guilty, be ordered to pay financial compensation to the tenant.