Minneapolis City Council passes new tenant screening rules opposed by landlords

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Photo credit Sloane Martin - WCCO Radio

The Minneapolis City council approved what’s called the “renters’ protection” ordinance Friday in a unanimous vote.

It relaxes screening requirements based on criminal, eviction, and credit history and also addresses steep deposits. There was a lengthy discussion among councilmembers about small landlords and possibly delaying to collect data from other cities who have implemented a similar law.

At a marathon public hearing weeks ago, landlords opposed the measure over safety and financial concerns, with some worried about the repercussions in taking on the wrong tenant, while supporters say it addresses racial and socioeconomic barriers to housing in a market struggling to provide affordable options.

Activists and renters called the vote a victory, but said they plan to keep pushing for more like tenant opportunity to purchase.

Small landlords, those with 15 or fewer units, have 6 more months to phase in, by December 2020. All other landlords must comply by June 2020.