Minneapolis Lawmaker’s Bill Targets Landlords Owning Single-Family Homes

(HorizonPost.com) – The Minnesota state House is considering a revised version of a bill that would require corporate investors to divest from some of their single-family rental homes as a way to address the current trend of corporations investing in the state’s housing market, Alpha News reported.

The bill, HF685, is sponsored by state Rep. Esther Agbaje from the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). The original version of the bill would have barred any corporation, real estate developer, or residential contractor from building or purchasing single-family homes that are converted into rental properties.

The latest version, which was approved by the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee on April 9, would bar corporate investors from owning more than 10 single-family rental properties in the state. Corporate owners that exceed the limit would either have to divest from the excess properties or face a $100,000 fine for each home over the limit.

The bill would exempt any single-family home that is owned by a nonprofit group or the government.

In last Tuesday’s committee hearing, Rep. Agbaje said limiting corporate investors to ten single-family homes would “disincentivize corporations” from seeking to enter the housing market in the state.

The committee advanced the bill along a party-line vote.

Republicans on the committee opposed the bill, which they argued was undue government interference in the Minnesota housing market.

Republican state Rep. Peggy Scott questioned the provision that would require the creation of a rental database of all single-family home rentals in the state. The state database would track the property owners and the monthly rents charged. She argued in last week’s hearing that unless the home is Section 8 housing, the government had no business demanding to know what a property owner charges for rent.

The National Rental Home Council, a nonprofit trade association for the single-family home rental industry, opposes the bill, arguing that it would be harmful to the Minnesota housing market, especially given the current shortage of homes.

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