MN Tenant/Landlord Law Q-Can we withhold sec. deposit if lease is broken?


We use Anissa Springborn’s “Landlord System” for most our forms and our rental agreement. The lease is wonderfully written in our favor and states that the tenant will forfeit entire security deposit if they break their rental agreement without notice.

I cant find anything on this in the tenant/landlord handbook. If anyone is familiar with the laws in Minnesota please let me know if this is allowable. Your response is greatly appreciated!

I don’t think that language is so wonderful. It implies you will limit damages to the deposit when you could be entitled to much more.

The forfeit of the deposit depletes the entire deposit when the agreement is broken. They will still be charged for all damages.

That language sounds too much like liquidated damages and any ambiguity in the contract will be interpret to benefit the tenant. You give up your right to actual damages when you settle for liquidated damages. If you mean to collect full damages, then say nothing about it in the lease. There is no need. You are entitled to accelerated rent and reletting costs as a matter of law. To add it to the lease agreement creates confusion which can only hurt you.