OTP (TOPA) Stages A Comeback In Minneapolis


Late last week outgoing Minneapolis City Council members Steve Fletcher, Cam Gordon, Jeremy Schroeder along with incumbent Jeremiah Ellison put forth before the council a proposed Renter Opportunity to Purchase (OTP) ordinance.

Seemingly on the back burner since spring, the ordinance would require Minneapolis housing providers to give advance notice to current tenants advance notice of their intent to sell a property, a chance to match or exceed any offer, and 60 days thereafter to finance such a purchase.

Exempt from the proposal are any rental properties with four units or less that are owned by an individual or in which an individual has an ownership interest, provided the owner has less than five rental dwelling licenses in the city of Minneapolis. Also excluded are properties that are homesteaded with 1-4 units and estates, as well as several other exceptions.

If passed, the ordinance will be phased in over three and a half years, starting with single-family. duplexes, triplexes and four-unit buildings that are more than 10 years old over the first six months of the ordinance. Implementation progresses over increasingly large buildings more than a decade old for three years after that.

Under the proposal, before an owner of an unexempted rental property may offer it for sale, they must provide the renter, the city and qualified organizations that specialize in affordable housing of their intent to sell. Tenants must be notified by certified mail and conspicuously posting a notice in the building’s common area, while the others may be emailed. The tenants will have thirty days to express interest and if they decline, 5 additional days are tacked on for the qualified organization to express interest.

If the tenant expresses interest, he or she shall have 45 days to submit an offer and earnest money. After receipt of an offer from any of the afore-mentioned parties, the owner shall either accept it or reject it and put the property on the market. The tenant who submitted the offer would still have right of first refusal to purchase the property at the price and terms of the competing offer.

If the 1-4 unit housing provider chooses to move forward with the tenant, city’s or qualified organizations offer, the buyer shall have another 60 days to finance and close the transaction.

If it seems confusing, read the 16-page proposal and you’ll get even more turned around. Or, review their policy options presentation here.

You can take the city’s survey about the ordinance here.

Finally, if you’d like to attend the city’s informational meetings about OTP, you can register here. The meetings will be held:

December 3, 9-10:30 am

December 8, 2-3:30 pm