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New laws greet Minnesotans in 2024

By Randy Thoms Jan 5, 2024 | 10:06 AM

Copyright Minnesota House of Representatives.

With 2024 now underway, a flurry of new Minnesota laws are in effect.

It includes added protections for renters.

Landlords fully disclose non-optional fees in a lease agreement so that applicants have a full scope of their rental costs.

Rachel Sterling, a housing attorney and the communications coordinator with the Minnesota nonprofit HOME Line, says unexpected fees have become a problem in the rental market in recent years.

“A classic example is there was a landlord here that used to charge what’s called a January fee,” says Sterling, “an extra $100 just because it was January.”

There are also tighter restrictions for landlord entry into a rental property.

Sterling says owners have the flexibility to set costs for expenses, but making certain language clear can potentially help tenants avoid eviction.

Minnesota has also added what is known as a “Red Flag” law, where individuals or agencies can petition the court for law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from a person exhibiting concerning behaviour.

Maggiy Emery, executive director of the group Protect Minnesota, says the broader goal for these Extreme Risk Protection Orders is to help reduce gun violence.

But she says the law change gets to the core of a concerning issue around the state.

“The vast majority of our gun deaths here are firearm suicides,” says Emery, “and ERPOS – Extreme Risk Protection Orders – have been shown to be very effective in reducing firearm suicides.”

Johns Hopkins University gathered findings looking at the effectiveness of Red Flag laws. Connecticut’s extreme risk law was associated with a 13% reduction in firearm suicides.

Emery says as Minnesota implements its law, there is considerable outreach in under-resourced communities, including rural areas, to create more awareness and training about this new tool for law enforcement.

Gun-owner advocates have expressed concern about a person not being able to challenge an order.

(With files from Mike Moen/Minnesota News Service)