Q: I am a landlord in Minneapolis and was wondering if you have any recommendations for getting a blank lease that I could use with my next renters.
A: In Minnesota, a lease can be written or oral. There is an exception, which consists of the building having 12 or more units or if the lease is for more than a year, then it must be in writing.
Also, some cities may require a written lease, so landlords should check with city regulations if their rental is located in a Minnesota city other than Minneapolis. I highly recommend that every lease be in writing for the protection of both the landlord and the tenant.
Many landlords hire an attorney or a rental service company to draft a lease, or they buy them from an office supply store or an online site. Some of these leases may not be drafted by attorneys who are familiar with landlord-tenant law in Minnesota.
If you are a landlord renting out residential space such as your home or apartment, there is a free standard lease that follows Minnesota law, and you can download it online from the Minnesota State Bar Association's site at this link: bit.ly/MSBALease
The lease is free to use, but if you make any changes to it, you will need to then change the typeface of the font, eliminate all references to the Minnesota State Bar Association, including the name and title of the form, the form number, the copyright and the disclaimer.
Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship with Klein. Do not rely on advice in this column for legal opinions. Consult an attorney regarding your particular issues. E-mail renting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information provided by readers is not confidential.