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Legal Information: Minnesota

Housing Laws

October 27, 2020

What documents or proof do I need to give to my landlord to get out of my lease if I am a victim?

To break your lease, you must give your landlord certain documents. You will need to give your landlord:

  1. written notice that is signed and dated that states you are ending your lease; and
  2. a qualifying document that proves that you are a victim of abuse.1 See What is considered a “qualifying document”? for more information.

1 Minn. Stat. § 504B.206(1)(b)

What information do I need to include in my written notice to the landlord?

Your written notice should state:

  • that you “fear imminent violence” from the abuser against you or another authorized occupant if you stay in the home;
  • you need to end your lease;
  • the date that you will leave your housing; and
  • written instructions for what to do with any personal property that remains in your housing.1

Your written notice must be given to the landlord before the date you plan to end your lease agreement. The notice can be delivered by mail, fax, or in person and you must also provide your landlord with your qualifying documentation of abuse.2

1 Minn. Stat. § 504B.206(1)(b)
2 Minn. Stat. § 504B.206(1)(c)

What is considered a “qualifying document”?

You must provide your landlord with a qualifying document that shows that you are eligible for protection under this law.1 A qualifying document is a(n):

  • order for protection;
  • no contact order;
  • writing produced and signed by a court official or law enforcement official acting in their official capacity that documents that you are a victim of domestic abuse, criminal sexual conduct, or harassment and that includes the name of the abuser if it is known; or
  • statement by a qualified third party.2

Note: The qualified third party who is submitting a statement on your behalf can find a sample statement in the law in section 504B.206(6)(3).

1 Minn. Stat. § 504B.206(1)(c)
2 Minn. Stat. § 504B.206(6)(3)

Who is a “qualified third party”?

A qualified third party can be a:

The qualified third party must have been acting in his/her official capacity and have had in person contact with you.

1 Minn. Stat. § 504B.206

Once I notify my landlord that I want to end my lease, do I still have to pay my rent? Will I get my security deposit back?

When you end your lease, you will no longer have to pay your rent or any other charges for the rest of the lease period. However, you are responsible for paying full rent for the month that you end your lease. Ending your lease does not end your responsibility to pay the landlord for any unpaid rent or money owed before your lease ended. You also give up your right to have your security deposit returned. 1

1 Minn. Stat. § 504B.206(3)(c)