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Federal Judge Stops Enforcement of City’s Renter Protection Law

A federal judge in Minnesota has sided with landlords and stopped the City of St. Paul from enforcing a new renter protection law he says is likely unconstitutional while a lawsuit filed by a group of landlords is pending, according to reports.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson granted the injunction, writing that it’s likely the landlords ultimately will win the case. The ordinance likely is unconstitutional, the judge wrote.

The landlords argued that the ordinance violates the 5th Amendment, which prohibits government from taking private property for public use without fair compensation. The ordinance, branded as the S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protections, limits the ability of landlords to consider evictions, credit histories and criminal histories when screening applicants for housing. It also limits how much money they can require of new tenants and forces landlords to give a written explanation when they decide not to renew a lease.  “The ordinance forces plaintiffs (landlords) to bear society’s burden related to housing needs,” the judge said in the ruling….Read more.