St. Louis Park approves unique rules to stop landlords preying on poor renters

The first of its kind protections were approved this week.
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Rich landlords looking to buy an apartment complex and turn a fast buck by immediately raising rents will find it harder to do in St. Louis Park.

That's because the city has just approved rules thought to be the first of their kind in Minnesota, which are designed to protect low-income renters in the event their building is bought.

Under the "Tenant Protection Ordinance" approved on Monday, landlords will have to pay the moving costs for tenants if within 3 months of buying a building they do any of the following:

  • Raise their rent.
  • Not renew their lease.
  • Evict tenants after re-screening them.

The rules apply to apartment buildings where 18 percent or more of the units are considered "affordable" for renters making 60 percent of the area's median income.

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A public hearing about the ordinance happened last month and a number of city residents spoke out in support of it, with none opposed.

Sure, landlords can just wait 3 months before raising rents or evicting tenants, but the city says this 3 month period would at the very least provide renters some extra time to find an alternative.

Landlords will be required to tell residents of the rules within 30 days of buying the building.

MPR notes that the rule change follows a controversy in 2016, when Meadowbrook Manor underwent upgrades that were followed by rent increases of $100-$125 a month for its 350 residents.

The Twin Cities is currently mired in an affordable housing crisis, with limited supply driving up rental prices, with developers and landlords looking to cash in by attracting higher-value renters.

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