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Continued: Columbia Heights cleans up problem rentals with landlord fines

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 26, 2013 - 4:41 PM

Howard Bentley lives in a house across the street from Mikulak’s building. He called police when he heard what sounded like gunshots at the apartment about a year and a half ago.

He said he supports police efforts to better manage the city’s rental property.

“I am glad someone is doing something,” Bentley said.

The carrot

Mikulak was one of more than 50 landlords packed into the basement of the police station for the quarterly landlord meeting Feb. 13. All landlords in the city are invited to attend.

Features and topics at the forums range from ask-an-attorney to how to conduct background checks. After the meeting, at least a dozen landlords lingered to chat with Austin and Officer Terry Nightingale, the department’s community policing coordinator.

Landlord Bill Modell was also at the forum. He owns 20 rental units in Columbia Heights, as well as rentals in Minneapolis and Anoka. Property management is his full-time job, and he’s never had any run-ins with Columbia Heights police. Still, he attends the educational forums, calling them some of the best in the Twin Cities.

“This one is really on the leading edge. The do a good job, have good speakers and good topics,” Modell said. “I try to make every meeting I can.”

Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804

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