Saint Paul City Council Passes Rent Control Amendments

SPAAR - 09/26/2022

On November 3rd, 2021, Saint Paul voters narrowly approved a Rent Control policy widely considered the most restrictive in the country.

This policy went into effect on May 1st, 2022. Since then, there has been ample debate about whether the voter approved version of rent control is the best approach.

Last week, after months of deliberation, the Saint Paul City Council voted 5-2 to approve a handful of amendments to the voter approved Rent Control ordinance.

Those changes include:

  • A low-income housing exemption.
  • A 20-year new construction exemption.
  • A compromise on vacancy control (The policy approved by the council allows landlords to increase rents by as much as 8% plus inflation after a tenant moves out. The policy only applies when tenants move out on their own accord or are evicted for “just cause.”).
  • Inflation is now an explicit reason for landlords to be granted an exemption under their “right to a reasonable return” on investment.
  • New rules requiring landlords to inform tenants if their apartment is covered by rent control.
  • Tenants to be notified when their landlords apply for exemptions in order to give them time to appeal the increase.

The changes will take effect on January 1st, 2023.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Saint Paul Rent Control ordinance or the recently approved amendments, please reach out to either of SPAAR’s Government Affairs Directors, Simon Opatz or Becky Wegscheid.

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