Nonrenewal Requirements

11 Replies

I have a single family home that is coming up on the end of the term.  I got word from one tenant that they would not being staying and the other does not have the ability to pay.  It's gets pretty sticky from there, but it is not important to my question.

How much notice do you have to give in Minnesota (St. Paul specifically) if you do not intend to renew a lease?

I want to be clear.  I'm not evicting them on the spot, I just do not wish to renew the lease for anyone currently in the property.  

@Justin Nienhaus , that depends on the laws in your state. I've sent you a link below to help you get started. Generally, at least in my state, you do not have to renew the lease once the expiration date is passed and you do not accept additional rent. You'll need to check the laws in your state what type of notice you need to issue to your tenants.

Good luck and here is the link:

http://www.ag.state.mn.us/Consumer/Handbooks/LT/default.asp

In MN you have to give notice one rental period prior or 30 days on a lease expiring which is longer than month to month. It sounds like you have an annual lease, that would mean you have to give notice 30 days prior to the end of the term.

Your lease agreement can override this (especially if tenant favorable) so you will want to re-read your agreement. 

Lastly, if one applicant informed you they would not be renewing that could be considered their notice to you of not renewing. A contract with the second tenant (which you don't want anyways) would be a new contract. Not entirely sure on this though.

When giving notice I would recommend you slip a note under the door, deliver in person, or send a certified letter if you are concerned.

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@Justin Nienhaus

My lease has a definite expiration date.  There is no automatic roll over or no automatic rolls to month to month, and no automatic rolls over with 5% rent increase.  Those are no options in my lease.  It expires on a certain date, period end of story.

Since there is a specific date I don't need to give notice of non-renewal.  I only give notice of renewal, or an extension of the lease.  

Thanks!  I appreciate the help from everyone.

@John Woodrich  

I believe you are correct with the one tenant and they did actually give me a signed letter with their intent to vacate the premises at the end of the lease.  I told them, just to be on the safe side, I may have to include him in my mailing but would be more than willing to give him a good reference to another location if he needed.  

@David Krulac  

You may be right, or maybe that is just Pennsylvania.  Minnesota is pretty favorable to the tenant.  Or maybe it's my years in property/casualty insurance that made me assume proper, early notice was always needed.  

Thanks again to everyone for your advice!

@Justin Nienhaus

Since the lease clearly states what the termination date is and that ALL extensions must be in writing, there is no need for a notice to the tenants.  As a courtesy I would remind the tenant that their lease expires on such and such date.  And I would specifically notice the tenant, if I was definetly not going to renew, be that's just me and I've been doing this a long time.

@David Krulac

You're certainly right, everything comes back to the lease.  I just have it ground into my head that I need certain notice if there is no intention to renew.  I like the idea of stating it more clearly in the lease, as you have, there is no automatic renewal.  Thanks again!

Originally posted by @Justin Nienhaus :

I have a single family home that is coming up on the end of the term.  I got word from one tenant that they would not being staying and the other does not have the ability to pay.  It's gets pretty sticky from there, but it is not important to my question.

How much notice do you have to give in Minnesota (St. Paul specifically) if you do not intend to renew a lease?

I want to be clear.  I'm not evicting them on the spot, I just do not wish to renew the lease for anyone currently in the property.  

 How can you not know this?  This is your business.  Knowing the law regarding notice to terminate is very basic info you should know.

So, Google it, look it up.  There should be a state landlord-tenant handbook.  Which you should have read before you bought any property.  

Sheesh, I can't believe people become landlords without learning the laws that rule their business, which in turn directly affect their ability to make a profit and/or lose lawsuits.  

I mean, if you can learn how to buy a property, you can learn how to find the landlord-tenant laws that you need to follow.  C'mon!

@Sue K. I don't think the specific answer is in the Minnesota landlord/tenant handbook but please look there first in case I am wrong.   I also picked up The Landlord's Guide to Minnesota Law which is the reference bible.   I highly recommend this publication for all MN investors.

https://homelinemn.org/publications/landlordsguide...

The reason the answer is elusive is because in MN it depends on how your lease is written.  If you lease requires a notice in order to terminate, then you do not have to do anything to renew the lease as it will renew automatically, unless you or the tenant give proper notice to terminate.

According to the book (p141), "If you have a pure, fixed-term tenancy, no notice is required to end the lease. It simply ends.  A one-year lease that starts on January 1 end runs through December 31 ends on December 31 without notice required by either side."

Continuing on p. 144, "While giving notice is not required in a fixed-term lease that does not specifically require a notice to vacate, it is often a good idea. Notice reminds your tenant that their lease end date is approaching.  It is a tenant's job to know when their lease ends and how much notice is required."

@Marc Jolicoeur

Thanks!  This book was exactly what I was looking for.  It should serve as a useful tool in the future, that's for sure.  I've seen you posting in a lot of questions in the forums for Minnesota investors, Thanks for helping everyone out.