'House rules' cause concern for apartment tenants

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MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) Being a good tenant is part of living in an apartment, but how far can your landlord go in making the rules?

One woman was handed a tenant rule book that gave her more than a little concern, and she contacted our whistleblower hotline.

Jourdan Rudd has lived in a DW Jones apartment in south Moorhead for almost a year and has grown attached to the caretakers in the building.

"I love it here, honestly" says Rudd

But a new set of rules handed out by the company that owns the building listed some strange requirements.

"They're some of the best friends that I've ever had and the fact that we can't talk to them, that we can't have any relationship with them, and that, if a caretaker is out there, I can't look a my phone if a text comes through" says Rudd.

The rule that she’s referencing says that “unprofessional” behavior around staff is not permitted and also states that the landlord or property staff won’t interact with a tenant that doesn’t meet a certain dress code and that staff will in their words “discontinue communication” if someone gets a text or call while in their presence.

The 22 page document lists everything from how long outside decorations can be up to what clothing is considered acceptable for guests to wear.

One rule causing particular concern was limitations on guests. No more than 3 different guests are allowed within a day and landlords have the option of revoking guest privileges for those that go above that threshold.

"We're able to use our unit, our house, the way it was intended to. What are you supposed to use your house for? To be with people, fellowship, and they're limiting that" says Rudd.

DW Jones told us that the rule was written that way because they wanted to prevent illegal activity, such as drug trafficking and protect tenants.

Also, breaking a single house rule is rarely enough to get someone kicked out.

"I can understand where they're coming from. I get it and I appreciate it in that aspect because I have 2 little girls. However, just because maybe one or two apartments have issues with that crime does not mean all of us do. When it's black and white, it's black and white and they can say 'you did not abide by this rule'" says Rudd.

DW Jones says that any tenants who are concerned are urged to contact them.

Rudd said a large majority tenants of her building gathered recently and say they are considering not signing another lease.