Terminating a Tenancy for Non-Payment of Rent in Minnesota

Last Updated: January 26, 2023.

About this Form

Minnesota state law allows a landlord to end a tenancy before the lease agreement expires, but only for just cause (a valid reason). One such reason is when a tenant fails to pay rent.

No Notice Required in Most Cases

If a tenant has failed to pay rent when due, and the landlord has never accepted late payments in the past, the landlord does not need to give any notice before filing for eviction in court. (See Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.291 and 504B.285).

While state law does not require a landlord to give notice to the tenant before proceeding with an eviction lawsuit, it may be helpful to do so as it can prompt the tenant to take their situation more seriously and pay their overdue rent. However, providing the notice is entirely discretionary on the landlord's part.

Providing notice, even when not obligated to do so, can be seen as a professional and respectful way to handle the situation. It can also help the landlord avoid a poor reputation, not to mention costly litigation, court costs, stress, and inconvenience. Giving final, written notice before seeking to evict can demonstrate that the landlord is willing to work with the tenant to find a solution and that the eviction is not the first course of action. Since the courts are courts of equity, a landlord who testifies and proves that he or she undertook the extra effort to warn the tenant may increase the odds of prevailing at an eviction hearing.

Only Exception is At-Will Tenancies: 14-Day Notice is Required

One exception applies. When a tenant is at-will (typically, a month-to-month tenancy) and the tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord must provide a 14-day notice before filing an eviction lawsuit. This requirement applies to tenants who do not have a lease or rental agreement. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.135.)