A little heads up from our local realtor association
“The City Council on June 3 postponed a public hearing and vote on the SAFE Housing Tenant Protections, which would mandate several measures meant to protect tenants from unfair rental practices.
The online public hearing is now set for 10am on Wednesday, June 24. The council is expected to cast its final vote on the ordinance at 3:30pm that day unless there are substantive amendments.
Several amendments to the proposed ordinance have been proposed:
1. Individualized assessments: Like in Minneapolis, this change would allow landlords to screen applicants using an individualized assessment. While this may be legally fraught, landlords will have the advantage of this language being harmonized between both communities.
2. Rehab and renovations: Landlords rehabbing their property for code compliance will not be required to provide tenants financial relocation assistance payment. This is a significant change to the proposed ordinance.
3. Advance notice of sale: Only buildings with five (5) or more units will be required to give the 90-day notice for sale of the property. (This is a change from the previous draft that required notice for any building with three (3) or more units.)
4. Exemptions: Units receiving subsidies from the federal government will be exempt from this ordinance. Landlords accepting housing choice vouchers, or “section 8”, will not be required to comply with a single provision of this chapter.”
@Amber Gonion Thank you
Thanks for posting this,@Amber Gonion ! Overall, I think these are needed. I hear so many stories of terrible landlords. There are a lot of either uninformed or unethical ones out there.
The only one that concerns me is limiting the security deposit to one month’s rent. I’m concerned that will backfire on applicants with low-credit score and other issues.
Also, do you have any idea if they’ve published the screening guidelines? I haven’t been able to find more than the general announcement of there being some.
@Amber Gonion thank you for the information!
Thank you, @Amber Gonion !
I'm only in MPLS but St Paul is mirroring MPLS's ordinance. It has already caused me to take a pass on someone who had an eviction since I couldn't charge twice the security deposit to mitigate my risk which the tenant offered so this person did not get the apt. and is having a very tough time finding a place. Sometimes, the elected cause unintended consequences but I brought this up and the general feeling is it's better for all if they limit restrictions but in the end it will make it much harder for people on the edge which the elected are willing to trade off.
It really makes it tough when they won’t allow you to decline an application because the eviction is over 3 years old and still can’t collect the extra deposit. It will result in evictions being filed much sooner when rent is late.
Hi, @Amber Gonion . The link you provided to more info is a dead link. Do you know of any other places to get more specifics of the policies being considered? I'm striking out on Google.
They keep moving it.
Creating Chapter 193 of the Legislative Code (Title XIX) pertaining to Tenant Protections.
WHEREAS, under City Council RES 89-1273, the Council directed the creation of a fair housing workgroup to make policy and budget recommendations “with the goal of eliminating housing disparities, lowering barriers to affordable housing, and ensuring access to economic opportunity in the City of Saint Paul”; and
WHEREAS, under City Council RES 17-2064, the Council directed the development of a fair housing strategic plan “to continue to research and work with housing partners on strategies to further Fair Housing goals such as...improved tenant protections, Tenant Remedies Actions,
Advance Notice of Sale policy, gentrification studies, just cause eviction, non-discrimination policies, and others”; and
WHEREAS, under City RES 18-1204, the City Council acknowledged that “the housing crisis in our city and region, and the urgent need to address the crisis as our population grows,”; and
WHEREAS, in 2019 the City created the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, with five objectives: to meet the needs of those with the lowest incomes by increasing supply; to invest in low and moderate income residents by investing in existing supply; to explore innovative approaches to meeting housing needs; to build wealth for residents and communities; and to promote fair access to housing for us all; and .
WHEREAS, in 2019, the Office of Financial Empowerment, which housed the Fair Housing Coordinator Position, was created and subsequently developed the framework for a citywide fair housing strategy identifying decreasing housing displacement, increasing housing access and affirmatively furthering fair housing as the overall objectives; and
WHEREAS, Tenant Protections is one of four focus areas including education and engagement, enforcement and compliance, and preservation and production, to address strategy objectives based on the current housing landscape; and
WHEREAS, stagnant wages, skyrocketing rents, a lack of affordable housing, and a consistently low housing vacancy rate are making it harder for Saint Paul residents to find housing and to afford it over time; and
WHEREAS, the number of renters has increased by 12 percent from 2000-2016 and the City of
Saint Paul has now become a renter-majority city, with 51% (57,621) of City residents being renters; and
WHEREAS, renters are disproportionately people of color and are disproportionately representative of individuals from low wealth backgrounds; and
WHEREAS, demographically 83% of African-American households are renting, compared to 41% of White households; and
WHEREAS, more than half of our renter households earn 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income, and more than half of our renter households of color earn 30 percent or less of the Area Median Income; and
WHEREAS, in St. Paul, 51 percent of our renter households are housing-cost burdened, resulting in seventy-five percent of our low-income renter households being housing cost burdened and thirty-nine percent being severely housing cost burdened; and
WHEREAS, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 requires that the City affirmatively further fair housing, meaning the City must take meaningful action to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination; and
WHEREAS, in April 2016, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
issued warning that blanket policies of refusal to rent to people with criminal records could violate the Fair Housing Act if “without justification, their burden falls more often on renters or other housing market participants of one race or national origin over another”; and
WHEREAS, as of January 1, 2020, people of color make up 47.9 percent of the MN prison population, but only 15.9 percent of our state population; and
WHEREAS, criminal justice research supports that the effect of a criminal offense on a residents housing outcome declines over time and becomes insignificant; and
WHEREAS, our current credit scoring system has a disparate impact on people and communities of color, rooted in a long history of housing discrimination and wealth inequities even though credit score itself does not reflect positive rental history or timely rent payments or probability of on time rent payments; and
WHEREAS, in 2017 there were an estimated 1,710 residential evictions filed against tenants in the City of Saint Paul; and
WHEREAS, E evictions, regardless of outcome, impact a renter’s ability to secure future housing, and Research suggests that “Informal evictions” occurring outside of the court process are occurring at twice the rate of formal evictions; and
WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul has approximately 11,000 units of housing which are considered Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) affordable at or below 60 percent Area Median Income and NOAH buildings are most at risk for ownership changes; and
WHEREAS, historical and ongoing discrimination in housing makes tenant protections a fair
housing, racial equity and economic justice imperative; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Saint Paul does Ordain:
Chapter 193 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code is hereby created to read as follows:
Sec. 193.01 Definitions.
For the purposes of this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section.
Affordable Housing Building shall mean a multiple-family rental housing building having five (5) three (3) or more dwelling units where at least twenty (20) percent of the units rent for an amount that is affordable at no more than thirty (30) percent of income to households at or below eighty (80) percent of area median income, as most recently determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) purposes, as adjusted for household size and number of bedrooms.
Affordable Housing Dwelling Unit shall mean a rental dwelling unit in an
affordable housing building that rents for an amount that is affordable to households at or below eighty (80) percent of Area Median Income, as most recently determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, as adjusted for household size and number of bedrooms.
(3) Available for Sale shall mean the earliest implementation of any of the following actions: negotiating to enter into a purchase agreement that includes an affordable housing building, advertising the sale of an affordable housing building, entering into a listing agreement to sell an affordable housing building, or posting a sign that an affordable housing building is for sale.
(4) For Cause shall mean that the tenant or a member of the tenant's household materially violated a term of the lease in accordance with Sec. 193.05(a).
(5) Cure the Deficiency shall mean that a tenant pays all monies rightfully owed, or fully complies with an order to correct a lease violation or notice to cease an activity that is in0) violation of a lease.
(6) Displacement Dwelling Unit shall mean the dwelling unit from which a tenant was displaced pursuant to Sec. 193.05(5) or (7).
(7) Eviction shall mean a summary court proceeding to remove a tenant or occupant from, or otherwise recover possession of, real property by the process of law, pursuant to Minn. Stat. Ch. 504B.
(8) Family Member shall mean a property owner’s child, step-child, adopted child, foster child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, step-parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or registered domestic partner as defined by Saint Paul Code of Ordinances
section 186.02 and any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the property owner is the equivalent of a family relationship.
(9) Landlord shall mean the property owner or agent of the property owner.
(10) Lease shall mean an oral or written agreement creating a tenancy in real property.
(11) Rental Application Fee shall mean a fee paid by the potential tenant to a landlord, in order for the landlord to screen the background of the potential tenant before signing the lease.
(12) Relocation Assistance shall mean a payment in an amount equal to three times the rental housing affordability limit at sixty (60) percent of Area Median Income for the Twin Cities metro area as published by the Metropolitan Council. Annually updated payments calculations can be located on the met council websites Affordability Limits for Ownership and Rental Housing: https://metrocouncil.org/
(13) Security Deposit shall have the meaning stated in Minnesota Statutes, section 504B.178.
(14) Single Month Rent shall have the following meaning: for a lease in which rent is paid once each month in the same amount, single month rent means that amount. When a tenant’s rent is supplemented by a rental subsidy, rent means the total contract rent for the dwelling unit. For a lease in which rent is paid once each period in the same amount but the period is not one (1) month, single month rent means that the amount paid per period divided by the number of days in the period and then multiplied by thirty (30). For
other leases, single month rent means the total amount of rent due under the anticipated length of the lease divided by the number of days in the anticipated length of the lease and then multiplied by thirty (30).
(15) Substantially Equivalent Replacement Unit shall mean a dwelling unit which is decent, safe and sanitary, contains at least the same number of bedrooms and other living areas as the Displacement Dwelling Unit, and is available at a Substantially Similar Rental Rate within the neighborhood district of the Displacement Dwelling Unit. Perfect comparability is not required.
(16) Substantially Similar Rental Rate shall mean the Displacement Dwelling Unit rental rate plus five percent (5%) or minus ten percent (10%) of the contract rate for a Single Month Rent.
(17) Tenant shall mean an authorized occupant of a residential rental building under a lease or contract, whether oral or written.
(18) Tenant Protection Period shall mean the period that commences with the transfer of ownership of an affordable housing building and runs through the end of the ninety (90) calendar days following the month in which written notice of sale is delivered to each affordable housing dwelling unit tenant pursuant to Sec. 193.08(a).
(19) Transfer of Ownership shall mean any conveyance of title to an affordable housing building, whether legal or equitable, voluntary or involuntary, resulting in a transfer of control of the building, effective as of the earlier of the date of delivery of the instrument of conveyance or the date the new owner takes possession.
(20) Termination of Tenancy shall mean the end of a tenancy following a written notice given
by a landlord to a tenant requiring the tenant to move, including nonrenewal of lease.
Sec. 193.02 Tenant rights information packets and tenant rights posters.
(a) Tenant rights information packets and posters for landlords and tenants. The Office of Financial Empowerment (the Office) will create and maintain a Tenant Rights Information Packet that includes:
(1) A summary of the City of Saint Paul Chapter 193 (Tenant Protections), the Minnesota Attorney General’s booklet on Landlords and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities
pursuant to Minnesota Statutes §504B.275, and a summary of federal fair housing laws describing the respective rights, obligations, and remedies of landlords and tenants thereunder; and
(2) A list of tenant resources, including but not limited to: information regarding community organizations, government departments, and other entities and organizations that tenants can use to support their housing stability, seek legal advocacy, and provide information or resources for other housing needs.
(b) Tenant Rights Information Poster. The Office of Financial Empowerment will create and maintain a poster summarizing tenant rights and responsibilities that includes a summary of City of Saint Paul Chapter 193 (Tenant Protections).
(c) Online availability. The Office will make the information packets and posters described in
Sec. 193.02 available online.
(d) Non-English versions. The poster and packet will be printed in English and any other languages that the department determines are needed to notify tenants of their rights under this chapter.
(a) Limitonsecuritydepositamount.Nolandlordshalldemand,charge,accept,orretainfrom a tenant more than a single month’s rent as a security deposit.
(b) Pre-paid rent limitation. No landlord shall demand, charge, accept, or retain from a tenant pre-paid rent an amount that exceeds the equivalent of one month’s rent. This provision should not be read to prohibit a landlord from demanding, charging, accepting, or retaining a security deposit, pet deposit, or application fees, pursuant to Sec. 54.03 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code.
(c) Governing law. Any security deposit furnished herein shall be governed by the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, Section 504B.178, together with this section.
Applicant screening guidelines for prospective tenants.
(a) Screening criteria made available. Before accepting applications for rental housing, a landlord must provide written rental screening criteria to all applicants.
(b) Uniform screening criteria. A landlord must apply uniform screening criteria and cannot disqualify an applicant for any of the following reasons:
Any arrest or charge that did not result in conviction of a crime;
Participation in or completion of a diversion or a deferral of judgment program, including but not limited to: pre-charge or pretrial diversion, stay of adjudication, continuance for dismissal, or a continuance without prosecution;
Any conviction that has been vacated or expunged;
Any conviction for a crime that is no longer illegal in the state of
Any conviction or any other determination or adjudication in the juvenile justice system, except under procedures pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 260B.130.
A petty misdemeanor offense is not a criminal offense. For the purposes of this Chapter, a petty misdemeanor cannot be grounds for a denial;
Any misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony conviction stemming from the following traffic offenses: reckless driving, driving without a license, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and DUI that did not result in additional charges for injury to a person;
Any conviction for misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offenses for
which the dates of sentencing are older than three (3) years;
Except as indicated in paragraph (j) below, any criminal conviction for felony offenses for which the dates of sentencing are older than seven (7) years; however, a landlord may deny an applicant who has been convicted of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802), or for those same offenses that mandate denial of tenancy in federally assisted housing subject to federal regulations, including but not limited to when any member of the household is subject to a lifetime sex offender registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program.
Any criminal conviction for the following felony offenses for which the dates of sentencing are older than ten (10) years: first-degree assault (Minnesota Statutes section 609.221), first-degree arson (Minnesota Statutes section 609.561), or aggravated robbery (Minnesota Statutes section 609.245), first- degree murder (Minnesota Statutes section 609.185), second-degree murder (Minnesota Statutes section 609.19), third-degree murder (Minnesota Statutes 609.195), first-degree manslaughter (Minnesota Statutes 609.20, subds. 1, 2, and 5), kidnapping (Minnesota Statutes section 609.25, subd. 2(2)), or first-degree criminal sexual conduct (Minnesota Statutes section 609.342, subds. 1(b) and (g)).
(2) Credit history.
(3) Rental history.
a. Credit score by itself; however, a landlord may use credit report information to the extent the report demonstrates a failure to pay rent or utility bills; or
b. Insufficient credit history, unless the applicant in bad faith withholds credit history information that might otherwise form a basis for denial.
a. An eviction action pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 504 or other equivalents in other states, if the action occurred three (3) or more years before the applicant submits the application., or if the action occurred during the three years immediately preceding submission of the application but did not result in a judgment entered against the applicant.
Insufficient rental history, unless the applicant in bad faith withholds rental history information that might otherwise form a basis for denial.
If a landlord uses a minimum income test requiring an income equal to two and half (2.5) times the rent or higher, the landlord must allow an exception to that test where the applicant can demonstrate a history of successful rent payment with an income less than two and a half (2.5) times the rentthe same or lower ratio of income to rent.
Exception. Whenever local, state, or federal funding or loan requirements for tenant screening conflict with any portion of section Sec. 193.04, the funding or loan requirements will take precedence over only those portions in conflict.
(4) Individualized assessment. A landlord that applies screening criteria that are more
prohibitive than the inclusive screening criteria set forth in this section must conduct an individualized assessment for any basis upon which the landlord intends to deny an application. In evaluating an applicant using individualized assessment, a landlord must accept and consider all supplemental evidence provided with a completed application to explain, justify, or negate the relevance of potentially negative information revealed by screening. Supplemental evidence refers to any written information submitted by the applicant in addition to that provided on the landlord's form application that the applicant believes to be relevant to the applicant's predicted performance as a tenant. When evaluating the effect of supplemental evidence on a landlord's decision of acceptance or denial of an applicant, the landlord must also consider:
a. The nature and severity of the incidents that would lead to a denial; b. The number and type of the incidents;
c. The time that has elapsed since the date the incidents occurred; and d. The age of the individual at the time the incidents occurred.
Sec. 193.05. Just cause notice for tenants.
(a) Just cause notice. A landlord may not issue a notice terminating tenancy unless the landlord is able to establish one or more of the following grounds:
(1) Non-payment of rent. The tenant fails to Cure the Deficiency after receiving a non-payment notice from the landlord, and the landlord does not
pursue a valid non-payment eviction action under Minn. Stat. § 504B.291, subd. 1(a), but decides to terminate tenancy at the end of the lease.
Repeated late payment of rent. The tenant repeatedly makes late payments of rent, no fewer than five times in a 12-month period. The landlord must provide the tenant with notice following a late payment that a subsequent late payment may be grounds for termination of tenancy. If the tenant continues to make a late payment on no fewer than five occasions per year, the landlord must give the tenant notice to vacate at least equal to the notice period outlined in the original lease agreement terms.
(3) Material non-compliance. After receiving a written notice to cease from the landlord, the tenant continues, or fails to Cure the Deficiency, to a material breach of the lease. This subsection shall not diminish the rights of a landlord, if any, to terminate a lease for actions permitted under Minn. Stat. § 504B.281, et seq.
(4) Refusal to renew. The tenant refuses to renew or extend the
lease after the landlord requests in writing that the tenant do so. The landlord shall give the tenant notice to vacate at least equal to the notice period outlined in the original lease agreement terms following the tenant’s refusal to renew or extend the lease. This subsection shall in no way diminish the fifteen to thirty day notice period as required by Minn. Stat. 504B.145 for leases with automatic renewal provisions.
(5) Occupancy by property owner or family member. The property owner,
in good faith, seeks to recover possession of the dwelling unit so that the property owner or a family member may occupy the unit as that person’s principal residence. The property owner or family member must move into the unit within 90 days from the tenant’s vacation. If a substantially equivalent replacement unit is vacant and available, that unit must be made available to the tenant at a substantially similar rental rate as the tenant’s current lease.
Building demolishment and dwelling unit conversion. The landlord (i) elects to demolish the building, convert it to a cooperative provided the landlord complies with the provisions of Minn. Stat. Ch. 515B, or convert it to nonresidential use; provided that, the landlord must obtain a permit necessary to demolish or change the use before terminating any tenancy, or (ii) the landlord seeks, in good faith, to recover the unit to sell it in accordance with a condominium conversion, provided the landlord complies with the provisions of Minn. Stat. Ch. 515B, or (iii) the dwelling unit is being converted to a unit subsidized under a local, state or federal housing program and the tenant does not qualify to rent the unit under that program.
Rehab and renovation. The landlord seeks, in good faith, to recover possession of the dwelling unit that will render the unit uninhabitable for the duration of the rehabilitation or renovation. The landlord must provide 90 days’ written notice to the tenant, and shall provide Relocation Assistance to the tenant upon delivery of the written notice. If a substantially equivalent replacement unit is vacant and available in the building, that unit may be made available to the tenant at a substantially similar rental rate as the tenant’s current lease. Rehabilitation or renovation that is required by a government agency to bring a property up to code is exempt from providing the relocation assistance required by this provision.
(8) Complying with a government order to vacate. The landlord is complying with a government agency’s order to vacate, order to abate, or any other order that necessitates the vacating of the dwelling unit as a result of a violation of Saint Paul city codes or any other provision of law.
(9) Occupancy conditioned on employment. The tenant’s occupancy is conditioned upon employment on the property and the employment relationship is terminated.
(10) Exceeding occupancy. Tenant exceeds the occupancy standards under City of Saint Paul Code 34.13, except for that no tenant may be evicted,
denied a continuing tenancy, or denied a renewal of a lease on the basis of familial status commenced during the tenancy unless one year has elapsed from the commencement of the familial status and the landlord has given the tenant six months prior notice in writing, except in case of nonpayment of rent, damage to the premises, disturbance of other tenants, or other breach of the lease. Any provision, whether oral or written, of any lease or other agreement, whereby any provision of this section is waived by a tenant, is contrary to public policy and void.
(b) Landlord responsibilities. All residential tenant leases, except for state licensed residential facilities and subject to all preemptory state and federal laws, shall include the following Just Cause Notice language:
The landlord under this lease shall not unilaterally terminate or attempt to
terminate the tenancy of any tenant unless the landlord can prove in court that just cause exists. The reasons for termination of tenancy listed in the City of Saint Paul’s Just Cause Notice (Sec. 193.05), and no others, shall constitute just cause under this provision.
(c) Application. This section applies to every lease, written or oral.
(d) Notice requirements. With any termination notices required by law, landlords terminating any tenancy protected by this Chapter shall advise the affected tenant or tenants in writing of the reasons for the termination and the facts in support of those reasons.
Sec. 193.06. Advance notice of sale (of affordable housing).
Notice of proposed sale. Any owner or representative of the owner who intends to make available for sale any affordable housing building shall notify the Director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development. The notice shall be on a form prescribed by the city stating the owner's intent to make available for sale the affordable housing building and which may include, at the city's sole discretion, some or all of the following information:
Owner’s name, phone number, and mailing address;
Address of the affordable housing building that will be made available
Total number of dwelling units in the building; and
Number and type (e.g., efficiency, one bedroom, two bedrooms, etc.)
of affordable housing dwelling units in the building and the contract rent for every dwelling unit in the building.
Manner and timing of notice. The notice shall be mailed, or hand delivered to the Director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development no later than ninety (90) days prior to the affordable housing building being made available for sale. The notice shall also be delivered directly to all affected tenants and include the following language requirement: “This is important information about your housing. If you do not understand it, have someone translate it for you now, or request a translation from your landlord.” This advisory must be stated in the notice in the following languages: English, Spanish, Somali, Karen, and Hmong. This notice shall
be delivered to all affected tenants no later than ninety (90) days prior to the affordable housing building being made available for sale. Upon request by the tenant, the owner must provide a written translation of the notice into the tenant’s preferred language of ones listed above.
Exclusions. This section shall not apply to the sale of transfer of title of an affordable housing building already subject to federal, state, or local rent or income restrictions that continue to remain in effect after the sale or transfer.
Sec 193.07 Relocation Assistance.
(a) Relocation Assistance required. If, during the tenant protection period provided in 193.08(b), the new owner of an affordable housing building terminates or refuses to renew any affordable housing dwelling unit tenant's rental agreement
without cause, then the new owner shall pay Relocation Assistance.
Relocation Assistance upon written notice of termination. If, during the tenant protection period provided in 193.08(b), the new owner of an affordable housing building raises any affordable housing dwelling unit tenant's rent, or rescreens an existing affordable housing dwelling unit tenant, and the tenant or new owner delivers written notice to terminate the rental agreement because the new owner has determined that the tenant does not meet the new screening criteria, the new owner shall, within thirty (30) days of receiving or delivering written notice of termination of the rental agreement, pay relocation assistance to the tenant.
Sec 193.08 Notice of sale (of affordable housing).
(a) Written notice required. When a transfer of ownership occurs, the new owner shall, within thirty (30) days of acquiring ownership of the property, deliver written notice to each affordable housing dwelling unit tenant of the building that the property is under new ownership and all of the following information:
Name, phone number, and mailing address of the new owner.
The following statement: "Saint Paul Code of Ordinances Sec. 193.08 provides for a ninety (90) day tenant protection period for affordable housing dwelling unit tenants. Under Sec. 193.07, an affordable housing dwelling unit tenant may be entitled to relocation assistance from the new owner if the new owner terminates or does not renew (pursuant to the City of Saint Paul Just Cause Notice) the tenant's rental agreement without cause within the ninety (90) day tenant protection period following delivery of this notice. Affordable housing unit tenants may also be entitled
to relocation assistance from the new owner if the owner raises the rent or initiates a tenant screening process within the tenant protection period and the tenant terminates their rental agreement.”
Whether there will be any rent increase within the ninety (90) day tenant protection period with the amount of the rent increase and the date the rent increase will take effect.
Whether the new owner will require existing affordable housing dwelling unit tenants to be rescreened to determine compliance with existing or modified residency screening criteria (pursuant to Sec. 193.04) during the ninety (90) day tenant protection period and, if so, a copy of the screening criteria.
Whether the new owner will terminate or not renew rental agreements without cause during the ninety (90) day tenant protection period and, if so, notice to the affected affordable housing dwelling unit tenants whose rental agreements will terminate and the date the rental agreements will terminate.
Whether, on the day immediately following the tenant protection period, the new owner intends to increase rent, require existing affordable housing dwelling unit tenants to be rescreened to determine compliance with existing or modified residency screening criteria, or terminate or not renew affordable housing dwelling unit rental agreements without cause.
(b) Tenant Protection Period. The Tenant Protection Period commences with the transfer of ownership of an affordable housing building and runs through the end of the ninety (90) calendar days following the month in which written notice of sale is
delivered to each affordable housing dwelling unit tenant pursuant to this Section.
DeliveryofnoticetoDepartmentofSafetyandInspections. Thissamewritten notice shall be furnished to the Director of the Department of Safety and Inspections at the same time notice is delivered to tenants. The new owner or representative of the new owner of an affordable housing building shall not terminate or not renew a tenant's rental agreement without cause, raise rent, or rescreen existing tenants during the tenant protection period without providing the notices required by this section. The notice shall also include the following language requirement: “This is important information about your housing. If you do not understand it, have someone translate it for you now, or request a translation from your landlord.” This advisory must be stated in the notice in the following languages: Spanish, Somali, Karen, and Hmong. Upon request by the tenant, the owner must provide a written translation of the notice into the tenant’s preferred language of ones listed above.
Sec. 193.09 Enforcement, penalties, and prohibitions.
(a) Private right of action created Penalties for violation. In addition to any other remedy available at equity or law, failure Failure to comply with the provisions of this Chapter mayresultincriminalprosecution,and/oradministrativefinesandrestrictions. Inaddition, any tenant aggrieved by a landlord’s noncompliance with this Chapter may seek redress in any court of competent jurisdiction to the extent permitted by law.
(b) Damages for violation of 193.05, Just Cause. A landlord who terminates a tenancy using a notice which references Sec. 193.05 as the ground for termination of tenancy, without fulfilling or carrying out the stated reason for or condition justifying the termination of such tenancy, shall be liable to such tenant in a private right for action for
damages equal to relocation costs under Sec. 193.07(b), costs of suit or arbitration, and reasonable attorney's fees.
Administrative fines and notice requirement for violation of 193.08, Notice of Sale. A violation of Sec. 193.08 as to each affordable housing dwelling unit shall constitute a separate offense. A notice of violation shall not be required in order to establish or enforce a violation of the section. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, the administrative fine for a violation of Sec 193.08 shall be the sum of the applicable amount of Relocation Assistance. Within thirty (35) days after receipt of this money by the City, the City shall pay to the displaced tenant of the affordable housing
dwelling unit for which the violation occurred an amount equal to the Relocation Assistance as defined by this Chapter.
Prohibition of waiver. Any lease provision which waives or purports to waive any right, benefit or entitlement created in this Chapter shall be deemed void and of no lawful force or effect.
‘No just cause’ as lawful defense. In any action commenced to non-renew or to otherwise terminate the tenancy of any tenant, it shall be a defense to the action that there was no just cause for such non-renewal of lease or termination as required in this Section.
Mutual termination. This Section does not preclude a landlord and tenant from agreeing to a mutual termination.
Sec. 193.10 Evaluation
(a) The OFE shall conduct an evaluation of the impact of this chapter to determine if the section should be maintained or amended. The evaluation shall demonstrate the section’s impacts, if any, on the ability of low-income persons and persons with limited English proficiency to obtain housing, and the overall availability of affordable housing in the city. The OFE may retain an independent, outside party to conduct the evaluation. The evaluation shall be conducted 18 months following the effective date of this chapter, and be submitted to the City Council within two and one-half years following the effective date.
Sec. 193.11 Budget
(a) Within 90 days after passage of this section, the OFE shall present to the Council the costs of implementing this section, including education and enforcement, and will propose a budget equal to these costs for the Council’s consideration for every year beginning in 2021.
Sec. 193.12 Exemptions.
(a) Any dwelling unit which is owned, operated, or subsidized by a federal government
agency, and which is therefore subject to federal housing program regulations, is exempt from the requirements of this Chapter.
Sec. 193.13 Implementation Task Force Created
(a) The Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) shall convene an Implementation Task Force made up of tenants, landlords and tenants’ and landlords’ advocates to propose rules and an implementation plan for this chapter, including a plan for educating landlords and
tenants about the provisions in this section.
Sec. 193.14 Severability.
(a) If any section, clause, provision, or portion of this Chapter is determined to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, that section, clause, provision, or portion
shall be deemed severed from the Chapter, and such determination shall not affect the validity of
the remainder of the Chapter.
This Ordinance will take effect and be in force on January 1, 2021 for properties with five or more units and on July 1, January 1, 2021 for properties with four or fewer units following its passage, approval, and publication.