Minneapolis City Council Cracks Down On Short-Term Rentals

The Minneapolis city council quietly and unanimously passed one of the most restrictive short-term ordinances in the country earlier this month.

The ordinances restricts property owners to a single Airbnb style unit in buildings with fewer than 20 units. In larger properties, no more than 10 percent of the units may be used as short-term rentals. Condominiums are exempted.

The city further restricted short-term rental owners by allowing just one short-term rental property in addition to one that is in a homesteaded property anywhere in the city.

The policy, which is set to go into effect on May 21, 2021, allowed no provisions for grandfathering in units that have already been operating as Airbnb units.

In addition to eliminating many short-term rentals, the ordinance also requires short-term rentals to register with the city in addition to having a current rental license. Operators must also notify any neighbor within 50 feet of the unit that the property is a short-term rental, as well as provide emergency contact information.

Additionally, operators must provide a floor plan indicating fire exits and escape routes and 311 contact information. A management plan must also be submitted to the city addressing noise, trash and parking.

After May, no more than 10 people will be allowed to occupy a unit, regardless of its size.

The city’s intention is to increase affordable housing by restricting the number of short-term rentals. The study they commissioned and included with the ordinance, however, suggests it really won’t have a substantial impact.

While the city maintains they consulted short-term rental property owners, their study suggests they consulted only owners in Ward 3, represented by Councilman Steven Fletcher. This Ward includes U.S. Bank Stadium and the University of Minnesota.

No notices of the proposed changes were sent to property managers or owners. There was little to no media coverage of the proposed crackdown.

This policy comes on the heels of the city’s restrictions on credit and background checks, proposed Opportunity to Puchase ordinance and eviction moratorium.

Property owners who object to this and the other ordinances should send written comments to the council member for their ward (and be sure to cc all council members at the bottom of the page).

Many council members are also up for re-election next year.