Bill Passes Senate to Protect Students from Predatory Landlords

St. Paul, MINN — The Minnesota Student Association (MSA) bill to protect renters from predatory landlords was included in the 2019 Omnibus Judiciary Bill that passed today with bipartisan support. Senator Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) authored the MSA bill to address two problematic leasing practices—unit specific leasing and short leases.

“Over the years I’ve dealt with many different issues, but the last few years have been especially bad for students’ renters.” said Senator Dziedzic. “Some leasing companies have been profiting at the students’ expense and this bill will level the playing field.”

Many University of Minnesota students have rented apartments assuming they will be living in one unit, and then on move-in day find out it’s a completely different unit and not in the same unit as their friends. The bill requires the specific unit they are renting to be listed in the lease.

It also requires a start and end date to be listed on the front page of the lease. Some management companies are exploiting students by shorting the 12-month lease, requiring them to move out three weeks before the end of the month. They are not pro-rating the rent paid and returning a portion to the student. This leaves students scrambling to find housing and storage space for their belongings during this gap.

“This is a consumer protection bill,” said Senator Dziedzic. “It provides transparency and peace of mind for students.”

This legislation was included as part of the Minnesota Student Association’s 2018 legislative agenda, the Senate passed it in 2018 but the house did not. “I want to thank students who worked hard to craft this legislation for two years,” Senator Dziedzic said. “Please contact me at (651) 296-7809 with questions on this or any legislation.”

Senator Kari Dziedzic testifying in the Senate Judiciary Committee with an MSA student