When does a guest become a tenant in minnesota?

When does a guest become a tenant in minnesota?


When does a guest become a tenant in Minnesota? Understanding the distinction between a guest and a tenant is essential for both landlords and tenants to ensure legal rights and responsibilities are upheld. In Minnesota, specific criteria must be met for a guest to be considered a tenant, granting them certain legal protections. This article will delve into the factors that determine when a guest becomes a tenant in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s Definition of a Tenant

In Minnesota, the legal definition of a tenant is someone who has entered into a rental agreement with a landlord. A rental agreement can be either written or oral, formal or informal. It is important to note that a rental agreement does not necessarily have to be a long-term lease; even a month-to-month arrangement can establish a tenancy.

Factors Determining Tenancy

Several factors come into play when determining whether a guest has become a tenant in Minnesota. These factors include:

1. Duration of Stay: The length of time a person stays in a property can be a crucial factor in determining tenancy. While there is no specific timeframe that automatically establishes tenancy, a longer stay is more likely to indicate a tenant rather than a guest. However, even a short stay can potentially create a tenancy if other factors align.

2. Payment of Rent: If a guest starts paying rent to the landlord, it is a strong indication that they have transitioned into a tenant. Rent can be in the form of money, services, or other valuable consideration. Once rent is exchanged, it establishes a landlord-tenant relationship.

3. Exclusive Use of Space: When a guest is granted exclusive use of a specific area or room within a property, it can be an indication of tenancy. If the guest has control over the space and the right to exclude others, they may be considered a tenant.

4. Intent of the Parties: The intent of both the landlord and the guest is an important factor in determining tenancy. If both parties intended to establish a landlord-tenant relationship, even without a formal agreement, it can be sufficient to establish tenancy.

Once a guest becomes a tenant in Minnesota, they are entitled to certain legal protections. These include:

1. Right to Notice: Tenants must be given proper notice before any eviction proceedings can take place. The specific notice period depends on the circumstances, such as non-payment of rent or lease violations.

2. Habitability Standards: Landlords are obligated to maintain the rental property in a habitable condition. This includes providing necessary repairs, ensuring proper sanitation, and addressing any health or safety concerns.

3. Security Deposits: Tenants have the right to the return of their security deposit, minus any valid deductions, within a specific timeframe after the termination of the tenancy.


Understanding when a guest becomes a tenant in Minnesota is crucial for both landlords and tenants. Factors such as the duration of stay, payment of rent, exclusive use of space, and the intent of the parties play a significant role in determining tenancy. Once a guest becomes a tenant, they are entitled to certain legal protections, including the right to notice, habitability standards, and the return of their security deposit. By being aware of these factors and legal rights, both landlords and tenants can ensure a fair and lawful rental arrangement.


– Minnesota State Legislature: www.leg.state.mn.us
– Minnesota Judicial Branch: www.mncourts.gov
– Minnesota Attorney General: www.ag.state.mn.us