St Paul Considers Changes To Rent Control

The St Paul City Council will hold a public hearing on amendments to the city’s rent control ordinance on Wednesday, August 24th at 3 pm.

The proposed changes are the result of the efforts of the city’s Rent Stabilization Stakeholders Group, which met throughout the year to find a way to implement the 3% maximum annual rent increase ordinance passed by voter’s last fall.

The ordinance, which allowed for no exemptions for new construction, increases in taxes or expenses, resulted in many developers halting or scrapping construction of new multi-family units, while independent owners of many smaller properties sold to large institutional investors so as to avoid anticipated losses as a result of the cap.

Proposed changes to the ordinance include:

  • A plan to allow landlords to defer annual rent increases until a unit is vacant. This would help prevent annual rent increases to an existing tenant that may not have been levied if the housing provider didn’t fear “falling behind” in market rent without a means of catching up.
  • Clarifications of the notification requirements when a housing provider has applied for a hearing for a rent increase of more than 3 percent.
  • A 20-year exemption from rent control for new construction.
  • An exemption for public or subsidized housing.
  • A prohibition for a landlord charging tenants for utilities that were previously included in rent.

If passed, the changes would go into effect January 1, 2023.

To sign up to comment on the changes, you must pre-register here no later than Tuesday at noon.