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Legislative News and Views - Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega (DFL)

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Minnesota House approves Rep. Perez-Vega’s Tenants Right to Organize in Landlord-Tenant Policy Bill

Thursday, April 18, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed SF3492/HF3591, the Landlord-Tenant Policy Bill on a vote of 68-61. The package includes legislation sponsored by Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega (DFL-Saint Paul) that establishes a right to organize for tenants in residential buildings.  

“Every Minnesotan deserves a safe, dignified place to call home, and this legislation is a major step forward in empowering tenants with the right to organize and enhance dignified housing practices,” said Rep. Perez-Vega. “Tenants deserve to live in well-maintained homes without fear of reprisal or eviction for simply asking for basic repairs. I am proud my legislation will provide strong safeguards to empower tenants and ensure they have a voice, a safe home, and the stability to thrive.”  

In the provision, tenant associations must be completely independent of owners, management, and their representatives. Owners must allow tenants to post information in common areas of the building, distribute leaflets and brochures to individual units, contact tenants for purposes of organizing, survey tenants on their interest in forming a tenant association, and convene tenant association meetings in common areas, and they can’t require tenants to ask for permission to do these things.  

Tenants who use the right to organize must adopt bylaws or an operating agreement related to the internal governance of the tenant association. Landlords would be required to allow certain organizing activities to take place on the property. The bill also protects tenants from retaliation for organizing and imposes penalties on landlords who violate these provisions.