Challenges Continue in Minneapolis Tenant Screening Practices: Cause for Alarm? Opines TenantScreeningUSA.com

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Tensions continue to mount as battle lines are drawn over tenant screening in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com suggests: “The on-going challenges in Minneapolis should alert landlords across the country to the potential change to law regarding tenant screening and now, more than ever, landlords must work with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency, such as TenantScreeningUSA.com, in order to remain compliant with existing and potential law.”

Tenant Background Checks Include Credit Report, Eviction Report, Criminal History Report and Leasing Recommendations.

Tenant Screening USA

Change is constant and when federal lawmakers begin looking at an issue as explosive as housing, especially how criminal history records are used, landlords should take immediate note.

Proposed changes to tenant screening law in Minneapolis continue to create tension between landlords and policymakers. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “Proposed change to law in Minneapolis could eventually spread across the country and landlords should be prepared for this or any change in law by working with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency, such as TenantScreeningUSA.com.”

The debate in Minneapolis over proposed changes to tenant screening law and policy continues unabated over a long hot summer. Sides have been taken with each side professing a clear position. Landlords want the ability to vet applicants via tenant screening, utilizing public records such as criminal history reports and evictions records. While on the other side, primarily renters at risk, the argument suggests that criminal records are punitive and should not be considered as part of the tenant screening process.

From MPRNews.com (Jul 17, 19):

In Minneapolis, there’s a roaring debate over landlord screening of would-be tenants. Proposed restrictions on criminal background checks and security deposits are pitting landlords against some tenants and their supporters on the City Council. (1)

Almeida notes: “City council wants more people regardless of background to get into housing and landlords want to mitigate risk. It’s a complicated challenge for both sides.”

Challenges in housing and related to tenant screening exist across the country. And, recently, have caught the attention of national lawmakers, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

From an Op-Ed piece in the Hill (Jul 17, 19):

Today, many housing authorities openly discriminate against formerly incarcerated individuals, leaving them without the crucial foundation of a safe and stable home from which they can rebuild their lives. The Fair Chance at Housing Act would require public housing agencies (PHAs) and other HUD-assisted housing to perform individualized reviews of tenant applications, as well as consider mitigating evidence of their past criminal activity rather than issue blanket bans. (2)

Strong opinions and actions by federal lawmakers suggest that change on a nationwide basis could be forthcoming.

Almeida states: “Change is constant and when federal lawmakers begin looking at an issue as explosive as housing, especially how criminal history records are used, landlords should take immediate note, if they haven’t already. Working with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency such as TenantScreeningUSA.com remains a best practice.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com provides full service tenant screening for landlords and property managers of any size and can greatly assist in remaining fully compliant with all existing law governing tenant screening. With a highly trained and experienced staff, TenantScreeningUSA.com can provide help to landlords and property managers for all their tenant screening needs.

Notes:
(1)    mprnews.org/story/2019/07/16/in-minneapolis-tight-housing-market-does-tenant-screening-go-too-far
(2)    thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/456041-housing-for-all-must-Include-those-who-are-justice-involved

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