Landlord reaches agreement with Minneapolis to clean up run-down properties

After years of complaints, the City of Minneapolis is now forcing its largest landlord of single-family homes to clean up some of its properties.

A tenant rights advocacy group is calling for this major victory. The City of Minneapolis and Front Yard Residential have signed a two-year agreement that requires the corporate landlord to abide by 17 conditions, seven of which are related to property management practices.

If the agreement is not met, the company could be prevented from leasing in the city. United Renters for Justice has been representing families renting from Front Yard Residential since the summer of 2020, and many tenants have described living in deplorable conditions.

Several tenants Thursday afternoon called the new agreement a big win.

"We appreciate the city for taking the first steps into showing their gratitude and holding this private equity landlord accountable. And we just want to say thank you. It's been a long journey," said Shanika Henderson with United Renters for Justice.

Front Yard owns more than 600 single-family residential properties throughout the metro. Many of their properties are located in north Minneapolis, and complaints have ranged from large rent increases to pest infestations. As part of the agreement with the city, among many things, Front Yard Residential must hire certified maintenance professionals and they are temporarily banned from buying more property.

Front Yard Residential is owned by a New York investment firm. The company was previously known as HavenBrook Homes. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the company last year for failing to repair and maintain its rental properties.