Brooklyn Park’s City Council adopted a tenant protection ordinance at its Oct. 28 meeting.
In short, the ordinance requires that the owner of a multi-tenant building notify tenants if the building sells to a new owner, and places restrictions on new landlords with regard to changes to rent prices, tenant screening and non-renewal of leases without cause during the three-month protection period.
Such ordinances have become fashionable in the region and have been approved in cities including St. Louis Park, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Golden Valley, Hopkins and Richfield. The intent of the ordinance is to prevent the mass displacement of tenants in the case that an affordable housing development is sold to new owners who intend to evict or otherwise remove large portions of existing tenants.
Per the ordinance, the purpose is to “Provide housing stability, protection, and notification to tenants in rental housing during an ownership transition. This section requires notice to tenants and to the city whenever title to property containing three or more rental housing units is conveyed or otherwise transferred. Under the ordinance, the owner would be required to pay resident relocation benefits if they take certain actions during the three-month tenant notification and if the resident needs to move as a result of that action.”
Within 30 days of closing, a new owner must deliver written notice of the sale to each tenant. That notice must include the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the new owner, a statement informing the tenant of the city’s protection ordinance, whether during the three-month notification period, or in the 30 days that immediately follow the notification period the new owner will increase rent, require existing tenants to be re-screened, not renew rental agreements without cause, or impose material changes to the lease.
Notification must also be given to the city.
If the new owner does make changes during the three-month notification period, tenants may be entitled to relocation assistance in the form of three month’s rental costs.
Landlords must also provide the phrase in English, Hmong and Spanish on each notice: “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.” The entire translated notice must be provided by the landlord upon request.
The ordinance applies regardless of the move-out date. That is, if a landlord must give 60 days notice of non-renewal per a lease agreement, if notice is given during the notification period, the ordinance still applies regardless if the move-out date is outside of the three-month period.
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