Tenant rights advocates tout new Minnesota laws offering added renter protections

Apartment for rent sign
A sign advertising an apartment for rent on Marshall Ave. in St. Paul.
MPR News file photo

Minnesota renters have new protections aimed at making the relationship between landlords and tenants more equitable. The changes are reflected in laws that went into effect this week.

Among other things, landlords must provide renters with 14 days notice of eviction filings. They must also give tenants a 24-hour notice before entering the property they rent out.

In highlighting the changes at a news conference Thursday, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan also pointed to a new requirement that landlords must clearly disclose mandatory fees in rental advertising and on page one of all leases. The rules also entitle residents to a minimum thermostat temperature of 68 degrees during winter months.

“Renters should feel confident in predicting their monthly expenses, their ability to maintain their space and that the heat and water will turn on each day,” Flanagan said. “And that’s what these new laws are all about.”

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!

The new measures also require counties to give legal assistance to public housing residents facing eviction. All evictions will now be expunged from renter records after three years.

Michael Dahl, public policy director at the tenant advocacy group HOME Line, said the changes were long in the works.  

“Tenants’ stories are part of why we, how we got here today,” he said, praising lawmakers who enacted the changes for responding to legitimate concerns.

He said those lawmakers “listened when we told them stories about renters searching for apartments that they thought they could afford, but when they were there to sign the lease, they found that there were hundreds of dollars of additional fees: move in fees, move out fees, administrative fees, fees to pay your rent through an online portal, the list goes on.”

Rep. Esther Agbaje, DFL-Minneapolis, sponsored some of the proposals. 

“These new laws acknowledge the fundamental right to secure housing and empower tenants with the tools and resources they need to thrive,” she said. “This is a victory for fairness, stability and dignity for all Minnesotans."