2nd Engrossment - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to landlords and tenants; regulating the 1.3 taking of prelease deposits; providing for a civil 1.4 penalty; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 1.5 Statutes, chapter 504. 1.6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.7 Section 1. [504.38] [PRELEASE DEPOSIT.] 1.8 Subdivision 1. [DEFINITION.] For the purpose of this 1.9 section, "prelease deposit" means payment given to a landlord 1.10 from a prospective tenant of a residential dwelling unit before 1.11 the prospective tenant and the landlord have entered into a 1.12 rental agreement. "Prelease deposit" does not include the 1.13 payment of a reasonable applicant screening fee used to conduct 1.14 a background check on the prospective tenant. 1.15 Subd. 2. [LIMITATIONS.] (a) A prelease deposit may be 1.16 accepted only if the landlord and prospective tenant enter into 1.17 a conspicuous written agreement that includes: 1.18 (1) the circumstances under which it will be returned; and 1.19 (2) that the landlord is required to return the prelease 1.20 deposit within seven days of the occurrence of a circumstance 1.21 described in clause (1). 1.22 (b) "Return" means postmarked within seven days except that 1.23 upon the prospective tenant's request, a landlord may destroy 1.24 the payment or hold it for retrieval by the tenant instead of 1.25 returning it by mail. 2.1 Subd. 3. [APPLICATION ON ENTRY INTO RENTAL AGREEMENT.] If 2.2 a prospective tenant and landlord do enter into a rental 2.3 agreement, the prelease deposit must be applied to that tenant's 2.4 security deposit or rent. 2.5 Subd. 4. [REMEDIES.] In addition to any other remedies, a 2.6 landlord who violates this section is liable to the payor of the 2.7 prelease deposit for the amount of the deposit paid, plus 2.8 one-half of that amount as a penalty. A landlord who enters 2.9 into a rental agreement with a tenant is not liable under this 2.10 section unless the landlord failed to comply with subdivision 3.