Twin Cities landlords are asking voters to oppose rent control on the November ballots. The landlords say that rent controls would create more issues within an already struggling housing market.
The question being put in front of voters in November reads, “Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis, with the general nature of the amendments being indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?”
“Rent control has been proven in cities across the world to reduce availability of housing, and the quality of housing,” Cecil Smith, the Minnesota Multi Housing Association (MMHA) president, said at a news conference Tuesday. “This has only deepened the challenge for low-income residents in those cities to afford a place to call home.”
A candidate for Minneapolis mayor, Michael Winter, told The Minnesota Sun that he will be voting no on the rent control question. Winter said he thinks it would hurt property owners.
“I am not a supporter of rent control, I believe it gives the city council way too much control of housing costs and will hurt local property owners,” Winter said. “I favor the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive plan for housing and would seek to remove restrictions on urban infill which should reduce the total costs of building housing, thereby increasing the overall housing supply, while allowing the free market to respond to demand.”
A local landlord, Amy Rutherford, told The Sun she thinks rent control hurts renters themselves.
Rutherford said, “I want fair housing for every resident of Minneapolis. Rent control has not worked in other cities. It’s not good for renters.”
She also said she believes rent control would benefit landlords to some degree because they could just “raise rent year after year.” Her concern is a lack of accountability from the city council in Minneapolis who “do as they please.”
Annie O’Neill, a former property manager in Minneapolis, told The Sun, “Rent control, along with limiting damage deposits and background checks, have disproportionately negative effects on private landlords.” O’Neill went on to explain that she believes that rent control will drive out smaller property owners and make way for large property management companies to buy up rental properties and will “keep rent as high as possible.”
O’Neill said, “Private landlords typically charge significantly less rent than property management companies. Rent control will really hurt private landlords and without the competition, large property management companies will keep rent as high as possible.”
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