Mpls. workshop teaches rental property owners rights

Workshop covered tenant issues, tenant screening and how to work with police.

A workshop for rental property owners put on by the city of Minneapolis Thursday night addressed issues like working with inspections, tenant problems and screening. People at the workshop showed the most concern about how disorderly conduct on licensed premises notices were served when their tenants were not to blame for crimes or disturbances on the property. Three notices of conduct on licensed premises can result in a revoked, suspended or not renewed license. The ordinance in question states that the licensee is responsible for taking appropriate action to prevent further conduct. Owners were concerned that they could not be on the property at all times and that none of their tenants had to be involved in the inappropriate conduct for the licensee to receive a notice. Hammett said some of these concerns can be addressed in the lease. âÄúThe bigger you are, the more important those procedures and processes become,âÄù said Tim Hammett, crime prevention specialist for the fourth precinct. Qualifying events include gambling, prostitution and unlawful possession or sale of narcotics. Landlords can also issue notices after three instances of noisy assemblies at one property involving one or more of the same individuals. âÄúI get owners calling me saying things like âÄòIâÄôm concerned, I think I may have a tenant in the building that may be dealing drugsâÄô,âÄù Don Greeley, crime prevention specialist for the third precinct, said. âÄúThe minute they give me a call, I have the discretion to say weâÄôre not going to pursue a disorderly conduct letter because they called us for help.âÄù People were also concerned that neighbors who did not like living near rental properties could call in purposefully trying to get their licenses revoked. Hammett said CPS recognizes that people have agendas. There must be documented evidence for the CPS to take action. Another issue addressed at the workshop was tenant screening. Jean Humenansky of Multihousing Credit Control said the applicant must know criteria to rent before filling out the application and be agreeable to giving the owner all of the requested information, which should include things like employment history and past residences. Humenansky said reluctance or refusal to give this information was a âÄúred flagâÄù to past and future problems. âÄúIt can do a huge amount of damage to your building to let somebody in who was a little marginal or who people have an uncomfortable feeling about,âÄù she said. Luther Krueger, crime prevention specialist for the first precinct, talked about a âÄúvirtual block clubâÄù program that e-mails rental property owners and managers minimal information about criminal activity of their tenants and neighborhood. He said this has helped owners evict tenants and confront problems on their property, and encouraged others to use it. âÄúCrime is a people problem, and if you donâÄôt have the information on the people that are committing crimes, how can you help us deal with the problem?âÄù Krueger said. âÄùItâÄôs really hard.âÄù The city holds these workshops twice a year, which cost $20 to attend.