The Tenant Notification Ordinance protects renters from immediate lease changes when their apartment building is transferred to a new owner. The ordinance applies to all housing properties with three or more rental units.
What is the Tenant Notification Ordinance?
Following an ownership transfer of a housing property with three or more rental units, the Brooklyn Park Tenant Notification Ordinance requires that the new owner provide notice to tenants within 30 days. The notice must include information about the ownership change and basic information about the city ordinance.
Once notice is provided, a three-month “tenant notification period” begins. During these three months, the new owner may be required to pay relocation benefits to a tenant if the owner issues a non-renewal without cause or non-renewal due to rescreening. The new owner could also be subject to paying relocation assistance if they increase the rent, rescreen existing residents, or implementing a material change to the lease during this three-month tenant notification period and the tenant gives the notice to terminate their lease.
What does this mean for renters?
If the building or apartment complex that a renter lives in sells, the tenants should all receive a written notice from the new owner. The new owner must notify tenants if they are raising the rent, requiring that tenants meet new criteria to live in the building, refusing to renew a lease without cause, or making a significant change to the lease.
If the owner/landlord does any of these things in the three months after the notice is given and the tenant moves as a result, the tenant may be entitled to relocation assistance in the amount of three months’ rent.
Why was this ordinance adopted?
The city is concerned about the displacement of tenants residing in properties that have been sold to a new owner. The ordinance allows for a three-month period for residents to work with housing support resources and seek alternative housing if they are facing lease non-renewals without cause, unaffordable rent increases, new screening criteria requirements or other material changes to the rental agreement, causing them to move.
When does the ordinance apply?
The ordinance applies when a rental housing property with three or more rental units in Brooklyn Park transfers ownership.
Who needs to be notified?
The new owner must notify all tenants.
Where can I find the required relocation assistance amount?
Relocation assistance is an amount equal to three months of the current monthly lease rent.
Are there income restrictions that apply?
No, the ordinance applies to all housing buildings with three or more rental units regardless of the amount of rent charged or the tenant’s income.
When does the new owner have to provide relocation benefits?
A new owner would be required to pay relocation assistance if during the three-month tenant notification period the new owner:
- Raises the rent and the tenant terminates his or her rental agreement due to the rent increase;
- Requires existing tenants to be re-screened or comply with new screening criteria and the owner or tenant terminates the tenant’s lease;
- Does not renew the tenant’s rental agreement without cause; or
- Imposes a material change in the terms of the lease and the owner or tenant terminates or does not renew the tenant’s lease.
Does a tenant need to move out during the three-month tenant notification period to qualify for relocation assistance?
If relocation assistance is owned, the assistance should be paid after the new owner gives notice to the tenant about non-renewal or the tenant gives notice to the owner that they will move/terminate due to a qualified owner action during the tenant notification period.
It could be possible for a notice to be given during the three-month tenant notification period window, but a tenant move-out to occur later. The existing lease terms would govern move-out timeline and process.
Does the ordinance apply if the management changes in the building?
No, the ordinance only applies if the ownership of the property transfers.
Does a transfer of sale include an ownership transfer to an immediate family member? Or as the result of inheritance?
If it is an actual transfer of ownership title that was not previously in place, it would be considered a sale and the ordinance would apply.
Would the policy apply to bank-owned or foreclosed properties?
Yes, all housing properties with three or more rental units transferring ownership through the sale of the property would be required to comply with the ordinance. For a foreclosed property, the three month notification period will begin when the redemption period has expired and the new owner has taken possession of the property.
What is my responsibility as a seller?
Sellers should make sure that the potential buyers are aware of the ordinance either directly or through their broker.
I’m buying a housing building – what is my responsibility?
If the property has three or more rental units, the new owner is required to comply with the requirements of the Brooklyn Park Tenant Notification Ordinance. If you need any help understanding the ordinance, please contact the City of Brooklyn Park. City staff want to work with owners to help communicate and smoothly implement this ordinance.
Can I raise rents, facilitate non-renewals without cause, make a material change to the lease, or re-screen existing residents during the three-month tenant notification period following the transfer in ownership?
This ordinance does not prohibit a new owner from taking the actions listed above. However, the owner would be required to pay resident relocation benefits if they issue lease non-renewals (without cause or due to re-screening) or take any of these actions during the three-month tenant notification period and the resident gives notice to move as a result.
Are there any restrictions after the three-month tenant notification period expires?
If the new owner intends to increase rent, require existing tenants to be rescreened, terminate or not renew housing unit rental agreements, or impose a material change in the terms of the lease within the 30 days immediately following the end of three-month tenant notification period, the owner must provide this information to tenants during the tenant notification period. After that time, the Brooklyn Park Tenant Notification Ordinance would no longer apply, and owners can manage the property in accordance with their preferred management practices.
If a lease expires during the three-month notification period, can I raise the rent?
You can renew the lease, but any rent increases must be effective following the expiration of the three-month tenant notification period or the owner may be subject to paying relocation benefits. If the new owner increases the rent during the three-month tenant notification period and the tenant gives notice to move or terminates the lease agreement, the new owner would be required to pay relocation benefits to the tenant.
How can I learn more or file a complaint?
If you have any questions related to the implementation of this ordinance or wish to file a complaint, please contact Erika Byrd at the City of Brooklyn Park.
Development Project Coordinator, City of Brooklyn Park
The City of Brooklyn Park does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its services, programs or activities. Upon request, accommodation will be provided to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in all City services, programs and activities.