The 24 Hour Myth

Door KnockIt’s commonly believed tenants must receive a 24 hour notice before the landlord enters their unit. There’s just one problem with that: it’s not true.

In Minnesota, a landlord must make a good faith effort to notify the tenant he/she will be entering. Reasonable notice may be a knock on the door, 24 hours, 48 hours — the definition of reasonable notice is open for interpretation.

The landlord, however, must have a reasonable business purpose for doing this. Valid reasons include:

  1. Showing the unit (for sale or lease)
  2. Doing maintenance
  3. Inspections
  4. Tenant disturbance coming from within the unit
  5. A reasonable belief that a tenant is violating the lease. (I.E. a barking dog inside a unit in a no pet building)
  6. Reasonable belief of unauthorized occupancy
  7. Belief that the tenant vacated the premises
  8. Pre-arranged housekeeping in a senior housing property
  9. Well-check (to make sure a tenant is still alive and well if there is reason to believe otherwise)

If a landlord enters the unit without the tenant’s knowledge or presence, he is required to leave a notice that he was there and for what purpose. Of course, once again, that purpose must be a reasonable business practice.

The only exceptions to notice requirements are to prevent injury to people or property, tenant safety, or to comply with local ordinances regarding unlawful activity.