Evicting a tenant in Minnesota requires the landlord to inform the tenant of a potential eviction action. Eviction-worthy breaches include a breach of the lease agreement, expiration of month-to-month tenancy, and/or failure to pay rent. If the tenant ignores the notice, the landlord can file a Complaint with the Local District Court. The court will issue a Summons that sets a hearing date within seven (7) to fourteen (14) days. The landlord then has a process server serve the Complaint and Summons on the tenant. If the landlord wins the case, the court issues a Writ of Recovery which allows the Sheriff to remove the tenant with twenty-four (24) hours notice.
Laws – Chapter 504B (Landlord and Tenant) § 504B.281 – § 504B.371
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
- Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
- Step 3 – File in Court
- Step 4 – Serve the Tenant
- Step 5 – Appear in Court
- Step 6 – File for a Writ of Recovery of Premises and Order to Vacate
- Step 7 – Repossess the Property
Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
The landlord must first provide formal written notice to the tenant that indicates their intent to evict due to nonpayment of rent. They must also provide written notice when legally terminating a lease agreement at the end of its term.
- Non-Payment of Rent (14-Day Notice): The landlord will use this notice when the tenant has not paid rent. It gives the tenant fourteen (14) more days to pay the overdue rent before the landlord files for eviction.1,2
- Month to Month (30-Day Notice): This gives the tenant notice of intent to end a month-to-month tenancy.3
- Non-Compliance (Notice): There are no statutes in Minnesota regarding non-compliance with lease agreements, so landlords need to notify tenants on their own terms and can seek eviction proceedings if the tenant doesn’t promptly respond to said notice. Examples of non-compliance include illegal activity and substantial property damage.4,5
- Illegal Activity (Notice): The tenant may be served a notice to quit for illegal activity in accordance with the designated timeframe in the rental contract.4
Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
The landlord waits the number of days on the notice to give the tenant an opportunity to respond, cure the breach or pay overdue rent. It is preferable to come to a compromise outside of court if possible
Step 3 – File in Court
- Average Processing Time: Two (2) Weeks to Three (3) Months
- Filing Fee: $285.006
- Where to File: District Court local to the property in question. Note: In Hennepin and Ramsey counties, landlords must file in Housing Court.
If the tenant does not respond to the notice, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings. They must go to their local District or Housing court to file an Eviction Action Complaint (Form HOU102). The court will issue a Summons with a designated hearing date.
Step 4 – Serve the Tenant
The landlord will then need to secure the services of a certified process server to serve the Complaint and Summons on the tenant. This must happen at least seven (7) days before the scheduled hearing date. The landlord then has to file evidence of service with the court within three (3) days of the hearing. The tenant can file an Eviction Action Answer (Form HOU202) with the court to contest the eviction action.
Step 5 – Appear in Court
Both the landlord and tenant appear in court on the hearing date. It is important to bring copies of all documents that have been filed with the court to the hearing, including a copy of the original eviction notice.
Tenants can win in court based on a number of common tenant defenses. In Minnesota, tenants may claim that the landlord is out of compliance with any of the following responsibilities:
- A landlord cannot limit a tenant’s right to call authorities for emergency purposes.7
- The tenant can stop an eviction based on nonpayment of rent by paying the rent and court fees in full before the eviction judgment is ruled.8
- Self-help evictions are illegal. A landlord cannot forcibly evict a tenant by changing the locks without their knowledge or shutting off any utilities.8
- The landlord must properly maintain the property with standard repairs and maintenance, necessary weatherproofing, and compliance with health and safety codes.8
- A landlord cannot discriminate against a tenant based on creed, disability, familial status, gender, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, race, religion, or sexual orientation.8
Step 6 – File for a Writ of Recovery of Premises and Order to Vacate
If the landlord wins the case but the tenant still won’t vacate the property, they can file for a Writ of Recovery of Premises and Order to Vacate. This requests that the Sheriff forcibly remove the tenant and their belongings from the rental unit.
Step 7 – Repossess the Property
The Sheriff’s office will use the Writ of Recovery to forcibly remove the tenant and their possessions from the property.
Video: Evictions in Minnesota
- § 504B.291
- § 504B.135(b)
- § 504B.135(a)
- § 504B.171
- § 504B.165