A Minneapolis City Council committee on Tuesday voted to deny a slew of rental licenses to property owners with ties to controversial landlord Stephen Frenz.
After the city revoked Frenz’s rental license last year, the landlord transferred several properties to people via contract for deed, said Noah Schuchman, director of regulatory services, at a quasi-judicial hearing in the council chambers.
Under this arrangement, Frenz and his business partners still had an ownership interest in the properties and could benefit from them financially, which violated Minneapolis ordinance, said Schuchman.
Four new property owners — Jennifer Strand, Kevin McMullen and Elizabeth and George Francois — appealed the decision earlier this year, and a hearing officer ruled against them.
None appeared at the hearing Tuesday, and the committee unanimously affirmed the denial of the licenses. The committee’s action must be approved by the full council.
The move marks another chapter in the ongoing saga between the city and Frenz, and an extension of the city’s aggressive approach toward Minneapolis landlords who thrive while racking up tenant complaints.
“This is us being a little more diligent about cracking down on these landlords with faulty practices,” said Council Member Jeremiah Ellison, co-chair of the Economic Development and Regulatory Services Committee. “I like to think that we’re getting better at it.”