Rental Licensing Program Overview

On November 27, 2006, the City Council approved a rental dwelling ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to “protect the public health, safety, and welfare of citizens of the city who occupy rental units by adopting a rental dwelling inspection and maintenance program that corrects substandard conditions and maintains a standard for existing and newly constructed rental dwellings in the city.” 

The rental dwelling ordinance concept was established in the fall of 2000, when the City Council adopted the Implementation Plan for Quality Housing. The plan outlined four strategies to create and sustain quality housing in West St. Paul that are intended to result in a housing stock that is aesthetically more attractive, has increased valuation, is healthier for residents, and improves the security and social fabric of the community at large. One of the strategies identified in the plan included creation a rental licensing program to promote the overall health and safety of residents.

 Several strategies have been identified to meet the goals and objectives of the ordinance:

  • Design, implement and market a rental licensing program and STAR program (Safer Tenants and Rentals),
  • Enforce the provisions of the ordinance, and
  • Design and implement program evaluation measures.

What is Rental Licensing?
 The rental licensing program consists of several parts: 

What is Rental Property?
Single-family, duplex, triplex, four-plex, apartments, condominiums, townhomes or another residential rental dwelling that is used for residential rental occupancy by one or more persons who are not the owner or a linear member of the owner’s family. 

Rental Density
Rental density limits the number of single family rental properties to 10% per block in the R1 Single Family zoning districts.  Blocks that have reached the rental density maximum are not allowed to have any additional rental properties, until a rental license becomes available.

The rental density map is updated after each City Council meeting to show up to date licenses available for each qualified block in R1 Zoning Districts. 

Please contact 651-552-4133 for questions on the map or how to apply for a temporary rental license. View the rental density map.

Background Checks
Please call 651-552-4235 for more information on the criteria for conducting the background investigations.