City Council approves renters’ protection ordinance

The City Council has approved an ordinance strengthening protections for renters in Minneapolis.

The ordinance will cap security deposits at a maximum of one month’s rent and gives property owners two options for screening potential renters: use inclusive screening criteria outlined in the ordinance or conduct an individualized assessment. The inclusive screening criteria limit consideration of criminal background and rental history – including eviction history – and prohibits use of a credit score.

The effective date for the ordinance is June 1, 2020 except for property owners with 15 dwelling units or fewer. The effective date for those property owners is Dec. 1, 2020.  

The ordinance builds on a growing body of work City leaders have advanced to address the challenges facing renters. Minneapolis is a majority renter city with 89,000 households renting their homes. Renters are vulnerable to challenging market conditions including low vacancy rates and limited affordable housing options.

The City will launch a cross-sector committee to create and execute an implementation plan for the ordinance. The committee will include representatives from legal and tenant advocacy organizations, the multi-housing industry and City departments.

“This ordinance provides a necessary protection for residents by ensuring they are not exploited with excessive move-in costs and have a fair opportunity to access housing,” said City Council President Lisa Bender. “The ordinance is part of this City Council’s large body of work to address our housing challenges which includes a number of policy changes, a renters first policy, investments in affordable housing and funding for legal protections.”

 “The intention of the ordinance is to reduce unnecessary financial and screening barriers that block people who are ready to enter the rental housing market from doing so,” said City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison. “These barriers have put a strain on families, and iced folks out of housing they may very well be qualified for.”

 

Published Sep 13, 2019

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