Minnesota Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines

A breakdown of Minnesota landlord-tenant laws on security deposits.

By , Attorney

Most residential leases and rental agreements in Minnesota require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here's a summary of Minnesota landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.

Does Minnesota law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?

No. In Minnesota, there's no statutory limit on security deposits at the state level, but if the landlord collects a "prelease deposit" and subsequently rents to the tenant, the landlord must apply the prelease deposit to the security deposit. Be sure to check your city and county laws to see if your municipality has set a cap on security deposits for residential rentals.

To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.

What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Minnesota for returning a security deposit?

Under Minnesota law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within three weeks after the tenant has surrendered the rental property to the landlord (that is, returned the keys and vacated the property) and the landlord has received the tenant's forwarding address; but within five days if the tenant must leave due to building condemnation.

Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.

Is there additional information that Minnesota landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Minnesota?

Yes. Landlords in Minnesota must, before collecting rent or a security deposit, provide a copy of all outstanding inspection orders for which a citation has been issued pertaining to a rental unit or common area, specifying code violations that threaten the health or safety of the tenant, and all outstanding condemnation orders and declarations that the premises are unfit for human habitation. Citations for violations that do not involve threats to tenant health or safety must be summarized and posted in an obvious place.

With some exceptions, landlord who has received notice of a contract for deed cancellation or notice of a mortgage foreclosure sale must so disclose before entering a lease, accepting rent, or accepting a security deposit; and must furnish the date on which the contract cancellation period or the mortgagor's redemption period ends.

Landlords in Minnesota must also pay 1% simple noncompounded interest on the security deposit per year. Any interest amount less than $1 is excluded.

Where can I look up Minnesota law on security deposits?

If you want to go right to the source and look up Minnesota law on security deposits—or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law—the relevant statute(s) can be found at Minnesota Statutes Annotated sections 504B.175, 504B.178, and 504B.195 (2020). To access Minnesota statutes, visit the Minnesota Legislature's website, or check out the Library of Congress's legal research site.

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