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Renter Protections

The City has adopted renter protection policies as part of our Housing Maintenance Code. Violations of these policies may lead to citations or other penalties. Here's what property owners and managers need to know to stay in compliance.

We also have resources and information available to help renters understand our policies.

Renter Screening

There are two options for screening potential renters. Owners can use the inclusive screening criteria in the ordinance or do an individual assessment. Even if a rental property owner doesn't charge an application fee, they have to use one of these options.

Inclusive Screening Criteria

Under this option, standards can't be stricter than the standards in the ordinance, but they may be less restrictive. The inclusive guidelines cover criminal, rental, and credit history.

Individual Assessment Option

If a property owner wants to use criteria stricter than those in the ordinance, they must evaluate applicants using an individual assessment. The property owner must consider all additional evidence provided by the applicant to explain, justify, or negate the relevance of information revealed by screening.

In an individual assessment, a property owner must consider:

Exceptions

A property owner may screen out any applicant in these situations:

The ordinance is currently in effect for owners with 16 or more rental units. The effective date for property owners with 15 rental units or fewer is December 1, 2020.

Handouts 

Read more about Minneapolis Code of Ordinances 244.2030, Applicant screening criteria for prospective tenants.

Security Deposits

Security deposits are capped at a single month's rent.

If a property owner chooses to ask for more than a single month's rent up front, the security deposit is limited to 50% of a single month's rent. In this case, the renter must have the ability to pay the security deposit in up to three installments.

A common example of this is when a landlord asks for both the first and last month's rent in advance--in this situation, the security deposit would be limited to 50% of a month's rent, and the renter must be able to pay the security deposit in installments over three months.

In situations where a renter has a referral from a government agency or non-profit service provider, one and one-half month's rent may be collected as a security deposit.

When returning a security deposit to a renter, landlords must include a copy of Minnesota Statutes 504B.178 and Minneapolis Code of Ordinances 244.2040.

The ordinance is currently in effect for owners with 16 or more rental units. The effective date for property owners with 15 rental units or fewer is December 1, 2020.

Read more about Minneapolis Code of Ordinances 244.2040, Security deposits.

Advance Notice of Building Sale

Owners of naturally occurring affordable housing must give the City at least 60 days' notice before making their property available for purchase.

Naturally occurring affordable housing includes apartments with five or more units in which at least 20% of the units are affordable to households earning less than 60% of area median income

Read more about Minneapolis Code of Ordinances 244.2120, Notice of proposed sale.

Relocation Assistance

Renters are eligible for relocation assistance (defined as three months' rent) in the following situations:

Naturally occurring affordable housing includes buildings with five or more units in which at least 20% of the units are affordable to households earning less than 60% of area median income

Read more about Minneapolis Code of Ordinances 244.2140, Relocation assistance.

Informational Webinars

The City hosted a series of webinars to walk you through the details of the ordinance, the resources available to help implement changes, and how the City will oversee compliance. You can watch a recording of a past webinar on the ordinance hosted by the Minnesota Multi Housing Association and the City of Minneapolis.

You can also view a past webinar on renter screening hosted by the Minnesota Multi Housing Association and the City of Minneapolis.

Other Resources

Minnesota Multi Housing Association

The City has partnered with the Minnesota Multi Housing Association, a trade association for rental property managers, to develop our policies.

Sign up for text alerts

The City will work with our partners in the community throughout the Spring to develop a plan for enforcing these policies. Sign up for rental licensing text alerts to get more information as it becomes available.  

Last updated Jul 27, 2020

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