Minneapolis' Action with Tenant Screening Could Have Greater Implications; Opines TenantScreeningUSA.com

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As Minneapolis continues to battle challenges in rental housing, the use of various public records is being targeted for review and potential change in laws that govern their legal and lawful use. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “Changes to potential law governing the use of public records as part of any background screening should immediately alert landlords and/or property managers to take note, and, subsequently, work with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency in order to stay fully compliant with law and ahead of the curve.

Tenant Background Checks Include Credit Report, Credit Score, Criminal History Report, Eviction Record Report and Leasing Recommendation.

Tenant Screening USA

Recent actions by Minneapolis City Council has alerted landlords and/or property managers to changes that could affect their rental business. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com, opines: “Any action by a city council that affects tenant screening should be urgently reviewed with a well-qualified tenant screening agency in order to stay fully compliant with laws and regulations.”

A new proposal in Minneapolis has landlords and property managers up in arms.

From BizJournals.com (May 31, 19):

The Star Tribune has a report on the proposal, from Council President Lisa Bender and Council Member Jeremiah Ellison, which would prohibit denying tenant applications on the basis of old felony or misdemeanor convictions or arrests that didn't result in a conviction. (Some felony convictions, such as arson or sex offenses, are exempt from the limitation.)

It would also block landlords from denying tenants based on insufficient credit histories, credit scores under 500 (considered in the bottom 10 percent of the U.S. population based on credit scores, per FICO) or eviction judgments more than three years old. (1)

Almeida adds: “Changes, such as the ones proposed in Minneapolis, are monumental. They also appear to be in synch with Ban-the-Box laws that affect employment screening. And with so many challenges in housing, especially with lower income groups, which may face a greater exposure to criminal history or challenges with credit history, proposals that limit use of typical screening tools will have a tremendous impact.”

Evictions have come under review as well as Minneapolis faces thousands of evictions every year.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune (May 15, 19):

As the state grapples with nearly 14,000 home evictions per year, legislators and housing advocates say that the blemish on tenants’ records is unfairly making it harder for them to find property owners willing to rent to them.

Proponents say allowing old evictions to be erased from the court system would help renters find housing amid Minnesota’s severe shortage. But landlords say that the proposed rule would stymie their ability to weed out tenants who skip out on rent or damage properties. (2)

Almeida concludes: “These proposals if signed into law would have a significant impact on the tenant selection process and a best practice remains that landlords and/or property managers work with a third-party tenant screening agency in order to remain compliant.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com provides full service tenant screening solutions 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 support to landlords and property managers with all tenant screening needs.

(1)    bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2019/05/31/minneapolis-proposal-would-bar-landlords-from.html
(2)    startribune.com/dfl-lawmakers-want-tenants-to-escape-stigma-of-eviction-record/509966702/

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