Sunday, July 22, 2012

Proposed City Ordinance Cracks Down on Slumlords

Post and stock photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

The Department of Regulatory Services in Minneapolis is proposing changes to rental licensing and associated penalties.  Currently, the most severe penalty to a landlord happens only after two rental licenses are revoked within five years, at which point he or she loses all rental licenses within Minneapolis for a five-year period.  In theory, the way this works is that a landlord loses one license, and then is on a short leash for all the other properties.  In practice, slumlords like Mahmood Khan (who owns the property photographed above) lose rental licenses and have those losses overturned in court before the second revocation can kick in.  (Search 2906 Emerson Ave N on the city's website for an example of that)  Or in the Folger case, a landlord suddenly loses all of his licenses, and the tenants are the ones who suffer.

The issue communities have been facing is that in spite of attempts to contain and then decrease problem properties, notorious slumlords like Khan, Moghul, and Reitman seem to continue adding to their empire.  The proposed changes would put a stop to that by...

...making it so that if a landlord has one revocation of a rental license, they cannot add to their rental portfolio for three years.  It wouldn't stop slumlords from buying property; there's not much we can do about THAT.  It would, however, limit the properties they can legally rent out if they have license revocations.

The proposals list standards that could result in revocations:


Financial Standards 
  • Unpaid required license fees 
  • Unpaid fines & fees owed to the City of Minneapolis 
  • Unpaid taxes owed to the County 
  • Licensee must satisfy judgments arising out of the operation of a rental property business 
  • Unpaid water bills owed to the City of Minneapolis
Licensee Behavioral Standards
  • Licensee must have a current & complete rental license application 
  • Rental application fees taken by landlords from prospective tenants requirements 
  • The Licensee must maintain a current register of tenants 
  • The Licensee must submit the numbering scheme of the units along with their applications 
  • A licensee must inform prospective tenants of pending mortgage foreclosure involving the licensed property
  • Licensee shall provide recycling services in licensed properties containing more than two (2) dwelling units
Condition Standards
  • Dwellings shall not exceed maximum number of dwelling units by the Zoning Code 
  • Dwellings cannot be over-occupied or illegally occupied 
  • Dwellings cannot be converted to rooming units in violation of the Zoning Code 
  • Licensee cannot have repeated nuisance violations at the license properties 
  • Licensee rental property shall not be in substandard conditions 
  • The Licensee shall allow Regulatory Services to perform a rental license review inspection 
  • Licensee shall not have violations of unpermitted work at their license properties 
  • Adverse license action may be based on good cause
These are *proposed* changes that have not been fully approved by the City Council as a whole.  The best thing we can do is to call our CM's and let them know how slumlord activity has affected us and our community, and advocate that they pass these measures.

4 comments:

  1. I THINL ALL PROPERTIES SHOULD BE INSPECTED EVERY YEAR - NON OWNER AND OWNER OCCUPIED PROPERTIES! I HAVE SEEN SOME REAL SHODDY WORK AND DANGEROUS WORK DONE IN BOTH CASES AS I DO TISH REPORTS FOR MANY REALTORS.

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  2. as an fyi - "It wouldn't stop slumlords from buying property; there's not much we can do about THAT." I believe Joe Mullery is trying to introduce a bill in the MN House that would do just that.

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  3. Another tactic you might mention these slumlords use: putting properties into the names of relatives.

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  4. I would like to state for no one to rent from Golden Compass Group. They are very bad slumlords. They don't do needed repairs on their property. They do not care for the property. But they collect $1000.00 in rent from tenants a month. They have many properties. Most being on the Northside of Minneapolis. All of their units in all of their properties are infested with mice. They have a property at 1547 Hillside Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Please, I advise no one to rent from these landlords. They are shady and money hungry. They collect rent but don't do property repairs or maintenance.

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