Minneapolis wins battle over landlord, but tenants might lose

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 9, 2012 - 12:54 AM

Minneapolis got legal clearance to yank rental licenses on 38 apartment buildings, but wants to avoid evicting 2,000 people.

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nelsonerinJun. 8, 1210:50 PM

I think the city ordinance is a little unfair to both the owner and tenants. He loses 3 licenses, now they take away the other 35? Maybe many of the other 35 properties did not deserve a license either, but shouldn't each building be evaluated on its own merit?

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getcrazyJun. 8, 1211:36 PM

@nelsonerin - he had plenty of time to clean up his act. Leaving the property in third world conditions ruins the entire neighborhood and creates hazards for neighboring properties. It also lowers the value of neighboring properties. He didn't care about code violations and refused to take care of them so he needs to pay the price.

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william2mnJun. 8, 1211:43 PM

I was a bit shocked when I saw that one tenant was paying $625 for a place that is so horrible. I realize that rents are higher in most places but still, I was thinking maybe people were paying $200 a month for these places but at $625 I think that the owner needs to at least meet some minimum standards.

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westernmetroJun. 9, 1212:25 AM

What happens if one person owns a high proportionate number of rental units in a single condo association? - and how does that impact property values?

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onremlopJun. 9, 12 5:03 AM

William, 200 a month probably doesn't even cover the property taxes for the month. Would have been interesting to find out how many tenants are current on their rent. It is hard to do repairs without the rent income.

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emilygreen20Jun. 9, 12 5:36 AM

Displacing 2,000 renters is going to drive rents up even further. When a tenant has a legitimate complaint about condition of the rental, they can have rents held by the court until the issue is resolved. This motivates landlords to address the issues. Can't they set up rent escrows for the 35 properties? I know there is more to this story, but we have to think about the big picture. The market cannot absorb 2,000 renters right now!

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BSLangeJun. 9, 12 6:49 AM

emilygreen20, I would think they should be able to set up escrows for these tenants. That would make the most sense to me. If the tenants were having this much trouble with the landlord, they should have done this long ago. Unfortunately, most tenants do not realize that they have this ability to put their rent in escrow until the landlord fixes the problem.

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porkerJun. 9, 12 7:16 AM

Yanking rental licenses is a good first step. Forfeiting properties would be a better solution, as some unscrupulous landlords use property deterioration as a business model.

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george13Jun. 9, 12 7:32 AM

westernmetro- It lowers property values.

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sevnofnynJun. 9, 12 7:56 AM

Also, perhaps many tenants in precarious situations are afraid to put the money in escrow for fear of retaliation. I know I felt that way when I was a young college student dealing with a house with some issues. The stuff I had to put up with after having an inspector come in for some issues was illegal. I wish the tenants rights handbook or the website was mandatory to hand out with the lease signing - with different languages available. I learned A LOT from that book.

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