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Minneapolis council approves new renter protections

The new rules will cap security deposits and put limitations on background checks.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Friday that aims to strengthen protections for renters in the city.

According to a city news release, the ordinance will cap security deposits at a maximum of one month's rent. Property owners will not be allowed to use credit scores in screenings of potential renters. Also, property owners will be limited in their use of criminal background checks, rental history and eviction history as criteria to turn down renters.

“This ordinance provides a necessary protection for residents by ensuring they are not exploited with excessive move-in costs and have a fair opportunity to access housing,” said City Council President Lisa Bender, in the city's news release.

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Several property owners opposed the ordinance at Friday's council meeting.

"It's how we maintain the safety and affordability of our properties," one property owner said.

Several property owners said they plan to meet to decide on their next course of action in response to the ordinance.

The new ordinance takes effect in June 2020, except for property owners with 15 units or less; the effective date for those property owners is December 2020.

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According to the city, most of its residents are renters, with 89,000 rental households.