City Council passes policy reforming how City handles complaints about chronic criminal, disruptive conduct in rental housing
Ordinance amendments provide protections for tenants, support for landlords
The City Council passed a measure today reforming the way the City works with landlords and renters when complaints are made about disruptive criminal and nuisance conduct to provide more protections for tenants and resources for landlords to resolve problems.
Highlights of the amendments to the City’s Conduct on Licensed Premises ordinance include:
- A violation of the ordinance cannot stem from 911 calls reporting domestic violence, domestic abuse, a health-related emergency or any other similar tenant assistance response.
- When a Minneapolis Police Department crime prevention specialist determines that an incident at a rental property requires City intervention after reviewing a police report, a letter is sent to both the landlord and the tenant about what needs to be done to resolve the problem issues.
- A new interdisciplinary panel convened by the City’s Regulatory Services Department will review the issues and help determine a community-centered approach that encourages landlords and tenants to resolve problems with a goal of discouraging unnecessary tenant displacement.
The changes were prompted by a study conducted by the Civil Rights Department’s Office of Police Conduct Review commissioned by the Police Conduct Oversight Commission recommending changes to prevent tenants from unfairly being evicted from rental housing determined to be “nuisance” or “problem properties.” Following the release of the study, a large work group made up of City staff from several departments worked with community stakeholders to come up with the new process.
“Housing is a right and having to call for help should never jeopardize that right,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Affordable housing is not enough if tenants are evicted for calling 911 when help is necessary. These amendments are thoughtful and necessary, and I look forward to signing it into law.”
City Council Member Phillipe Cunningham, lead author of the ordinance amendments, said he has heard from many people in the community voice concerns about the ineffectiveness of the old process for addressing problems in rental housing.
“Over half of the calls related to the Conduct on Licensed Premises ordinance came from eight neighborhoods on the Northside,” Cunningham said. “Crime data supported that the process as it existed was ineffective in addressing chronic criminal and disruptive behavior in our residential areas.”
City Council Member Jeremy Schroeder, who worked on the portion of the ordinance related to renters making 911 calls, said: “I am proud that Minneapolis has put this specific wording into our City Code to reinforce our commitment to survivors of domestic violence, residents struggling with mental illness, and those simply using 911 services. No one should have to choose between receiving emergency responder assistance and having a safe place to live.”
Published Nov 2, 2018