Bill to protect Minnesotans from predatory landlords passes Senate

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill this week to protect renters from predatory landlords with bipartisan support. The bill addresses two problematic leasing practices – unit specific leasing and short leases.

Minnesotans who rent apartments in large developments may assume they will be living in one unit when they sign a lease and then on move-in day, find out it’s a completely different unit with completely different roommates. 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 renters 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. This leaves Minnesotans scrambling to find housing and storage space for their belongings during this gap.

An amendment that provides additional protections to renters was added during the floor debate. It requires that landlords give equal length notice of a rent increase as tenants have to quit a lease. For example, if a renter must give 60 days-notice before vacating rental housing, the landlord must give 60 days-notice of an increase in the cost of rent before it takes effect.

The bill now goes to the House where it awaits a vote on the floor. (SF 2949)