Renters' rights

Did you know that most people in Minneapolis rent their homes? There are new policies in place to protect the rights of renters.

Renter screening

When you apply for rental housing, property managers have two options for reviewing your application.

Inclusive screening criteria

The first option is to use the City’s inclusive screening criteria. The guidelines limit what from your criminal, rental, and credit history can be used to deny your application. There are specific time limits on how far back in your past a criminal conviction or eviction action can be for it to be considered.

For example, if you have a misdemeanor older than three years, a property manager can’t use that to deny your application.

In another example, property managers can’t set a minimum credit score for renters. Specific things from your credit report can used, but only if they’re related to your ability to pay rent.

Individual assessment

The second option property managers have is to use criteria stricter than what’s in the ordinance, and in this case they must evaluate your application individually.

If they choose to evaluate your application individually, they must let you submit additional information with your application. They have to consider everything you provide when reviewing your application and provide a specific reason for denying it. 

Security deposits

Your security deposit is capped at a single month's rent.

If a property manager wants more than a month's rent up front, the security deposit is capped at 50% of a month's rent. In this case, you must have the ability to pay it in up to three installments. For example, if you have to pay both the first and last month's rent before the beginning of your lease, your security deposit is capped at 50% of a month's rent, and you must be able to pay it over three months.

Security deposits aren’t rent. Property managers must return your security deposit and any interest within three weeks of the end of your lease. If some or all of your security deposit is withheld by the property manager, they must give you a written statement explaining why.

Notice of sale of affordable housing

If you live in naturally occurring affordable housing (see below) the owner must give you and the City notice at least 60 days before putting the property on the market. 

Naturally occurring affordable housing includes buildings with five or more units where at least 20% of the units are affordable to households earning less than 60% of area median income.

See the latest definitions of median income for different households in our area.

Relocation assistance

In some situations, if you have to move out of your rental unit, you may be able to get financial relocation assistance. Relocation assistance is defined as three months' rent. 

  • If the rental license of your building is revoked or cancelled by the City, you would be able to get relocation assistance
  • If a rental license for your building is applied for but denied, you would be able to get relocation assistance
  • If you live in naturally occurring affordable housing (see below) and your building is sold, you would be able to get relocation assistance if:
    • Your lease is ended without cause
    • You have to move due to a rent increase
    • You're re-screened by the new property owner and lose your housing

Naturally occurring affordable housing includes buildings with five or more units where at least 20% of the units are affordable to households earning less than 60% of area median income.

See the latest definition of median income for different households in our area.

Pre-eviction filing notice

Before a property owner can evict you for not paying rent, they have to give you notice letting you know what fees are due, setting a timeline for paying them, and who you can pay. This notice is required at least fourteen days before the eviction process begins. The fourteen days starts the day the notice is mailed or hand delivered to you.

After fourteen days, the property owner can start the eviction process if the total amount due isn't paid, or if you don't move from the property.

We have a list of legal, financial, and other resources for renters who are at risk of eviction.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Resources for renters

You can use our many resources to find safe and affordable rental housing in Minneapolis.

The New Rules for Rental Screening & Security Deposits: Renter's Guide

This detailed PDF walks through the specifics of the ordinances in English and Spanish.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Regulatory Services

Address

Minneapolis Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Office hours

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

See list of City holidays