A landlord can and will have to gain access to a tenant’s unit occasionally for a variety of reasons. In Minnesota the landlord can enter a unit for a reasonable business purpose, and only after providing the tenant with reasonable notice. Minnesota includes nine examples of reasonable purpose in Minn. Stat. § 504B.211:
- Showing the unit to prospective tenants.
- Showing the unit to prospective buyers or insurance agents.
- To perform maintenance work.
- To allow inspections by city, county, or state officials for enforcing codes.
- To check on a tenant who is causing a disturbance in the unit.
- To check on potential lease violations by the tenant, if the landlord has a reasonable belief of such.
- Scheduled housekeeping in senior housing where at least 80% of the residents are 55 years or older.
- Checking to see if a person is staying in the unit who is not on the lease.
- Inspecting the unit after the tenant has moved out.
There are only a few reasons why the landlord does not have to provide notice of entry, and they all involve some state of emergency where immediate entry is required.
- To determine the safety of the tenant.
- To prevent injury to people or property due to a maintenance or building safety and security issue.
- To comply with state law or local ordinance.
In all of the cases above, if the tenant is not present when the landlord makes entry the landlord must provide a written notice to tenant that entry was made. It’s a good idea to provide a date and approximate entry and exit time in the notice, along with a reason for entry. Failure to comply with this notice is punishable by up to $100 per incident if the tenant takes the matter to court.