Hennepin County officials want renters, landlords to know their rights

Hennepin County is trying to raise awareness of fair housing laws among landlords and renters, using Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.

"If we're successful in this campaign, more tenants will feel confident in knowing what they can and cannot expect from their property owner, and more landlords will know what they can and cannot request and require of tenants and people applying for their properties," said Julia Welle Ayres, manager of Hennepin County's housing development and finance division.

On average, only about 80 Minnesota renters a year file fair housing act complaints with the federal government, alleging racial discrimination and other prohibited behaviors.

Home Line, a statewide tenant advocacy group, said it gets more than 1,000 calls a month from renters. Top concerns involve maintenance, security deposits and evictions.

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