Minnesota Rent Increase Laws: What Tenants Should Know

Renting a property in Minnesota can be a convenient and affordable option for many people. However, tenants may face some challenges when their landlords decide to raise the rent. In this article, we will explain the rent increase laws in Minnesota and what tenants should know about their rights and responsibilities.

Rent Control in Minnesota

Rent control is a policy that limits the amount or frequency of rent increases by landlords. Some cities or states have rent control laws to protect tenants from excessive or unfair rent hikes. However, Minnesota does not have statewide rent control laws. This means that landlords can generally charge any amount of rent that they want, as long as they follow the terms of the lease agreement and the state law.

However, Minnesota law allows local governments to establish their own rent control laws, as long as they are approved by a general election. Currently, only two cities in Minnesota have some form of rent control: Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Minneapolis: In 2021, the citizens of Minneapolis voted to authorize the City Council to establish rent control. The City Council formed a Rent Stabilization Work Group, which is working to bring a rent control proposal to voters in 2023.

St. Paul: Rent increases are limited to 3%, for new or existing tenants, with exceptions. Landlords can request a Rent Increase Exception to exceed the limit. The Department of Safety and Inspections may approve a greater rent increase of up to 8% plus the rate of inflation.

Notice Requirement for Rent Increase

In Minnesota, landlords must give proper written notice to tenants before raising the rent. The notice period depends on the type and duration of the tenancy.

Periodic tenancy: A periodic tenancy is one that automatically renews for a certain period of time, such as month-to-month or week-to-week. For this type of tenancy, the notice period is equal to the frequency of rent payments, but no more than three months. For example, if the rent is due monthly, the landlord must give at least one month’s notice before increasing the rent.

Fixed-term lease: A fixed-term lease is one that has a definite start and end date, such as a one-year lease. For this type of lease, the landlord cannot raise the rent during the term, unless the lease agreement allows for it. If the lease agreement does not specify the rent increase terms, the landlord must wait until the lease expires and offer a new lease with the higher rent.

The notice must be in writing and include the following information:

  • The amount of the new rent
  • The date when the new rent takes effect
  • The reason for the rent increase (optional)

The notice must be delivered to the tenant personally or by mail. If the notice is mailed, it is considered delivered on the date of postmark.

Reasons for Rent Increase

Landlords can raise the rent for any reason, as long as they comply with the notice requirement and the lease agreement. Some common reasons for rent increase are:

  • To keep up with the market rate or the cost of living
  • To cover the expenses of property maintenance or improvement
  • To increase the profitability of the rental business
  • To encourage the tenant to vacate the property

However, landlords cannot raise the rent for certain illegal or discriminatory reasons, such as:

  1. To retaliate against the tenant for exercising their legal rights, such as complaining about the property conditions, requesting repairs, or joining a tenant association.
  2. To discriminate against the tenant based on their protected characteristics, such as race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, or use of public assistance.

If the tenant believes that the rent increase is illegal or discriminatory, they can file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They can also seek legal advice from a tenant attorney or a legal aid organization.

Tenant Options for Rent Increase

When a tenant receives a notice of rent increase, they have several options to choose from:

Accept the rent increase and continue the tenancy. The tenant must pay the new rent amount starting from the effective date. If the tenant fails to pay the new rent, the landlord can evict them for nonpayment of rent.

Negotiate with the landlord for a lower rent increase or a longer notice period. The tenant can try to persuade the landlord to reduce the amount or frequency of the rent increase, or to give them more time to adjust to the change. The tenant can use their good rental history, the market conditions, or the property conditions as bargaining points. If the landlord agrees to a different rent increase, they should put it in writing and have both parties sign it.

Terminate the tenancy and move out. The tenant can end the tenancy by giving proper notice to the landlord, according to the terms of the lease agreement or the state law. The tenant must vacate the property by the end of the notice period and pay the rent until then. The tenant cannot use the rent increase as a reason to break the lease without penalty, unless the lease agreement allows for it.


Rent increase is a common issue that tenants may face in Minnesota. Tenants should be aware of the rent increase laws in Minnesota and their rights and responsibilities as renters. Tenants should also communicate with their landlords and seek legal help if they have any questions or problems regarding the rent increase. By knowing the facts and the options, tenants can make informed decisions and protect their interests.

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