Skip to main content

Landlords push back on Minneapolis proposal to limit tenant screenings

The proposals would stop landlords from rejecting tenants based on historic convictions and poor credit scores

Landlords are pushing back on a proposal from Minneapolis City Council that would prevent them from rejecting certain rental applicants.

The proposed ordinance has been backed by city council president Lisa Bender and council member Jeremiah Ellison, as part of efforts to reduce racial disparities in the city's housing system and improve access to affordable accommodation.

The proposal would stop landlords for denying a potential tenant if they have felony convictions that are more than 5 years old, misdemeanors over 2 years old, or arrests that didn't result in a conviction, or convictions that were expunged or vacated.

There would be exceptions in this case for those convicted of sex crimes, arson and racketeering.

Landlords would not be able to reject applicants who have committed crimes that are no longer illegal in Minnesota, which could prove particularly significant in the event the state of Minnesota eventually decriminalizes marijuana.

The proposal would also prevent landlords from rejecting applicants with an insufficient credit or rental history, as well as those with credit scores lower than 500, and eviction judges from more than three years ago.

A separate ordinance would limit the amount a landlord could require as a security deposit to a month-and-a-half's rent, and must allow tenants to pay the security deposit over a three-month period.

The proposals are still in draft form and as such are subject to change, but still managed to spark a protest on Friday involving the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association, which FOX 9 reports launched a campaign called Safe and Affordable Neighborhoods Minneapolis.

In a letter to the city obtained by BMTN, MMHA president Nichol Beckstrand said the proposal presents several safety concerns to landlords and their other renters.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

Beckstrand says exceptions to the 5-year felony convictions rule "ignores dozens of serious, predatory, and otherwise violent criminal convictions."

"In addition, the ordinance excludes a disturbing series of misdemeanor-level offenses, including certain sexual attacks, malicious punishment of a child, stalking while in possession of a firearm and sexual solicitation of a juvenile, from consideration when the dates of sentencing are older than two years," she added.

Beckstrand also argues that with Minneapolis currently struggling with a lack of housing units, rather than increasing access to affordable housing the additional restrictions on landlords would have the opposite effect, deterring developers from building more multi-family units.

Limiting the amount of security deposit a landlord can request could also result in higher costs to landlords in the event of damage, in turn leading to raised rents for all tenants.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Police looking for woman missing since car crash near lake

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.

COVID-19 vaccine testing Mall of America

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, Oct. 4

The 7-day average number of cases has been dropping.

Life Link

Man airlifted after being pinned under truck in northern MN

The incident happened near Nisswa, Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 8.37.44 AM

St. Paul company ends corrugated manufacturing, cutting 130 jobs

The facility produces around 200,000 tons of corrugated packaging every year.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Sartell woman, 94, killed in collision with semi-truck

The crash happened in Haven Township near St. Cloud.

fire truck

Explosion reported near Hastings; man airlifted to hospital

Authorities say the victim has serious injuries.

Screen Shot 2022-10-05 at 2.30.07 PM

School faces uncertain future after land sold to Catholic nonprofit

The school near Marine on St. Croix sits on land that's just been sold.


Court: Mpls. can stop landlords from screening out Section 8 tenants

A district court judge had previously thrown out the ordinance.

St. Louis Park approves unique protections for renters

The first of its kind protections were approved this week.

Keith Ellison

Minneapolis landlord to pay $1M in court costs following tenant violations

Minneapolis landlord Stephen Meldahl violated the rights of 267 families, according to a November court ruling.

Minneapolis urges landlords: Keep rents cheap and get tax breaks

It wants building owners to sign up for 4d status.

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 12.17.00 PM

City council set for final vote on Minneapolis 2040 plan

Council members will vote to ratify the comprehensive development plan on Friday.

Minneapolis approves new tower despite objections over rooftop sign

City planners had objected to a request for a sign at the top of the skyscraper.

Minneapolis landlord Stephen Frenz found guilty of perjury

He invented three fictional tenants in a scheme to avoid a lawsuit.

Screen Shot 2019-08-15 at 1.19.47 PM

Mayor Frey proposes to scrap cash bail for low-level crimes

He's proposing an alternative plan to get defendants to court.