MSA’s renters’ rights bill passes in Legislature

The bill aims to protect students from predatory landlord practices, providing transparency to renters.

Students from the University of Minnesota campuses including the Twin Cities, Crookston and Morris gather on the steps for a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday, April 3 as a part of Support the U Day.

Tony Saunders

Students from the University of Minnesota campuses including the Twin Cities, Crookston and Morris gather on the steps for a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday, April 3 as a part of Support the U Day.

J.D. Duggan

The state Legislature passed a renters’ rights bill Friday that aims to protect renters from predatory landlord practices.

The bill, supported by the Minnesota Student Association and authored by Sen. Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, aims to provide transparency to renters by offering unit-specific leasing and protecting them from short leases. The bill failed to reach the House floor in the last legislative session, but passed with bipartisan support as part of the 2019 Omnibus Judiciary Bill.

“Over the years I’ve dealt with many different issues, but the last few years have been especially bad for students’ renters,” Dziedzic said in a press release. “Some leasing companies have been profiting at the students’ expense and this bill will level the playing field.” 

The bill requires start and end dates to be listed on the front page of the lease, protecting students from being forced out of their residence before the end of the month. It also mandates the unit be listed in the lease.

Often, student renters do not know the length of their lease, MSA representatives have said. This concern is especially prevalent for international students who may lack the resources or familiarity to advocate for themselves or find emergency housing.

“This is a consumer protection bill,” Dziedzic said in the press release. “It provides transparency and peace of mind for students.”