Tenants trying to buy rental properties from controversial landlord now facing eviction

March 08, 2019 06:31 PM

Armed with money they have saved and even more financing, Chloe Jackson and her neighbors made an offer to their landlord, Steve Frenz, to buy the apartments they live in.

But instead of walking away owning the properties, the tenants say Frenz countered their offer and then slapped them with notices to vacate.

"Every night, we're worried the sheriff is going to come at any time and that's not a good feeling to deal with," Jackson said during an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

Jackson and a group of thirty other tenants gathered outside of a Hennepin County court Friday, where Frenz was making his first appearance on a felony perjury charge.

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Frenz earlier this year after they say he lied in court documents related to a civil lawsuit filed by a group of tenants in 2016.

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A coalition of renters who live in five buildings in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis are attempting to form a cooperative to buy the properties.

Jackson, who helps organize the group, said the move would mean stable housing for dozens of families.

"We've already grown to be this community, this family and our neighbors don't want to see us leave," Jackson said.

The tenants have raised about $125,000 and secured financing, according to the group Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia, who is helping the renters.

Jackson said they are currently negotiating with Frenz and that he countered their latest offer.

"I don't think we can meet that offer right now," Jackson said, adding that they are concerned that they can lose their housing at any moment.

Attempts to reach Frenz and his attorney for comment were unsuccessful.

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Kirsten Swanson

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