Public comments are being sought on amendments to Saint Paul’s residential rent stabilization ordinance that were approved by the City Council in September. The comments are due by December 2.
The comment period is the latest in a series of steps taken since voters approved a 3 percent cap on rent increases in November 2021. The measure took effect on May 1. Changes approved by the City Council this fall will take effect on January 1. The changes are based in part on recommendations from the city’s Rent Stabilization Stakeholder Group, which released its findings in June. The City Council took those findings and made further changes to the rent stabilization measures.
The revised ordinance would continue to limit residential rent increases to 3 percent in any 12-month period. The council has added provisions that clarify terms such as “right to a reasonable return on investment” and create a 20-year exemption for newly built residential rental properties.
Other key changes include:
- “Partial vacancy decontrol,” which would allow landlords to increase rents by up to 8 percent plus inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, after a “just cause” vacancy. Landlords would have to demonstrate a “just cause” vacancy to be eligible for the partial vacancy decontrol measures.
- Tenants would have to be notified by city staff when their landlord submits an application requesting an exception to the 3 percent rent cap. City staff would also notify tenants if the application is approved or denied.
- Tenants and landlords would have 45 days from the date of the city’s determination on the exception request to file an appeal.
Additional information about how utilities would be considered in rental agreements, a list of what constitutes “just cause” and definitions of terms are included in the amendments. People can read more about the amendments and comment at tinyurl.com/4jrvx3wu.
— Jane McClure