1st 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. [DEFINITIONS.] For the purpose of this 1.9 section, "prelease deposit" means payment to a landlord from a 1.10 prospective tenant of a residential dwelling unit before the 1.11 prospective tenant and the landlord have entered into a rental 1.12 agreement. "Prelease deposit" does not include the payment of a 1.13 reasonable applicant screening fee used to conduct a background 1.14 check on the prospective tenant. 1.15 Subd. 2. [LIMITATIONS.] A landlord may not accept a 1.16 prelease deposit from a prospective tenant exceeding one-half of 1.17 the first month's rent if the monthly rent on the dwelling unit 1.18 is less than $800. A prelease deposit may be accepted only if 1.19 the landlord and tenant enter into a prior written agreement 1.20 that includes: 1.21 (1) the circumstances under which it will be returned; 1.22 (2) when it will be returned; and 1.23 (3) the means available for resolving a dispute, including 1.24 the remedies provided in subdivision 3. 1.25 A prelease deposit must be returned within five business 2.1 days of the occurrence of a circumstance described pursuant to 2.2 clause (1). 2.3 Subd. 3. [REMEDIES.] In addition to any other remedies, a 2.4 landlord who violates this section is liable to the payor of the 2.5 prelease deposit for twice the amount of the prelease deposit 2.6 paid.