Proposed Rental Housing Licensing Program
On September 23, 2019 the Maplewood City Council will be is considering adoption of a rental property license program to maintain housing standards and promote public safety and welfare. The goal of this licensing program is to implement an inspection and maintenance program that corrects substandard conditions, maintains a standard for existing and newly constructed rental dwellings, and ensures neighborhood stability within the City.
The City Council is holding a public hearing on September 23, 2019 at 7 pm to solicit feedback from landlords, renters, and other community members interested in weighing in on this issue.
The city has established the fees for the annual license as $150 per building plus $50 for each unit within the building. The fees are based on the city's cost to operate the rental licensing program. As proposed, the fees would cover the full cost of the licensing program staff and expenses so that the property tax levy would not support the program costs.
Based on the fees, the following are examples of the annual cost for rental property owners:
- 25-unit building: $1,400 per year
- 50-unit building: $2,650 per year
- 100-unit building: $5,150 per year
- 150-unit building: $7,650 per year
- Duplex (both units): $250 per year
- Single-family home: $200 per year
The fee schedule would include incentives for well-performing properties. The initial inspection and first re-inspection would not incur an additional fee. However, if the city has to continually inspect a rental property, the second re-inspection would incur an additional $250 fee, and any third or subsequent re-inspection would incur an additional $500 fee per inspection.
Key points of the proposed program include:
- Owners/property managers would be required to attend a Crime Free Multi-Housing Phase 1 training or its equivalent.
- Rental properties must pass a City inspection and continue to maintain the property in accordance to code requirements.
- Owners/property managers would be required to screen all potential tenants by using a written rental application which contains sufficient information to conduct a Criminal Background check.
- Owners/property managers would be required to use a written lease for all tenants and all leases must require tenants to sign a “Lease Addendum for Crime-Free/Drug-Free Housing.”
- Criminal Background Investigation on Property Owner(s)/representatives.
- Property Owners would be required to provide 24-hour contact information for a person who resides within the Twin City metropolitan service area who is responsible for code compliance of the rental property. This person will be either the owner or agent of the property.
- The City Manager may deny or not renew a license and the City Council may revoke or suspend a rental license for failure to address tenant or property issues.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to City Staff, please feel free to contact Jeff Thomson, Community Development Director, by phone at 651-249-2310 or email Jeff Thomson.
Resources for Renters in Maplewood
- HOME Line - This is a nonprofit Minnesota statewide tenant advocacy organization with many online resources for renters.
- Minnesota Attorney General’s Office - The office's website contains a section on Landlord and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities.
- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services - Free legal resources to low income and seniors (60+) in a full range of civil matters.
- Ramsey County District Court - Minnesota Statute 504B.385 allows renters to file a Rent Escrow Action against their landlord if they are not maintaining the property. The Second District Court can give you more information on how to do this; call 651-266-8230.