Housing Information

  1. Rental Housing License
  2. Healthy Mix of Housing
  3.      Housing Resources For Residents
  4. Current Development Map

Rental Housing License

All residential rental property is required to be licensed


The purpose is to enhance the supply of safe, sanitary, and adequate structures and living conditions for its citizens and to prevent the deterioration of the existing rental structures in the city.  Rental housing licensing aims to ensure property maintenance of structures, preserve neighborhood stability, protect the quality of existing rental housing stock, and maintain property values. The ordinance provides for basic safety and living standards for rentals. Rental property owners will also comply with the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC). The IPMC code provides minimum standards for building maintenance, property maintenance, light, ventilation, pests, garbage collection, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and fire safety.

Who Should Be Licensed?

All rental property owners are required to be licensed.  Properties to be licensed include apartments, townhomes, condominiums, manufactured homes, and single-family residences that are being rented.

What Are the Rental License Requirements?

All rental license applications are submitted online. We no longer accept paper applications. There are four components to each rental housing license. They are:

  • Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Background Checks of Property Managers: Landlords must request background checks on all currently employed managers. [Minn. Stat. § 299C.68, subd. 1 (2023)].  The BCA Background must be dated within 24 months of the application date. Property owners also performing property management duties will be required to obtain a BCA background. To submit a form to the BCA to begin the background check process, owners and landlords can contact the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, CHA Unit, 1430 Maryland Avenue East, St. Paul, MN 55106, or call 651-793-2400.
  • Crime-Free Lease Addendum: As a condition of the license, the landlord must use the Minnesota crime-free lease addendum or its equivalent, as part of its leases. Landlords are not required to submit the lease to the city; however, you must provide it upon request.
  • Rental Housing Application: Each property requires a completed, owner-signed rental license application. This is uploaded during the online application.
  • Payment of Rental License: Payment is made online during the time of application. Payment can be made with a credit card, debit card, or e-check.

How Can I Apply for a Rental License?

When you have received the completed BCA Background check and completed the rental application, you are now ready to apply for the rental license.  Please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the IGH Permit Portal.
  2. Register. Register using your email and 8-character password.
  3. Click on ‘Apply for a Rental License’.
  4. Complete the 8 steps in the application process.  
  5. Upload Documents. When requested, upload the Rental Application and the BCA Background check.
  6. Pay for Rental License. When requested, pay for the license with a credit card, debit card, or e-check.
  7. Submit the application. City staff will receive the application.
  8. The application will be reviewed and sent to our police department and city council for approval. Please allow 2-4 weeks for this process.
  9. Rental License Issued. We will email the approved rental license. Please post near the entrance in a conspicuous location for occupants to view.

When Should My Rental License Be Renewed?

All rental licenses must be renewed. Currently, our licenses are renewed every 2 years.  It is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner to renew their rental license before it expires.  Emails will be sent to remind property owners that it is time for their rental license renewal.  All rental licenses are issued with an expiration date.  Our licensing timeframe is as follows:

  1. Renewal Period: Completed applications must be received via our permit portal between November 1st and January 31st prior to the expiration date.
  2. Expiration Date: All rental licenses due to expire will expire on March 31st.
  3. License Period Begins: All rental licenses will start on April 1st.
  4. Late Fees: All rental licenses that are due for renewal and we have not received a completed rental application by January 31st will be subject to a late fee.
  5. Licenses that are not renewed: All active rental properties that have not renewed their license are in violation of the city code and will be forwarded to our code official for issuing a citation.

What Properties Are Exempt From Needing a Rental License?

Per city code, 4-13-4: exemptions are:

  • Hospitals
  • State-licensed residential care facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Hotels or motels
  • Single-family homes where the owner resides in the home and there are no more than 3 persons within the dwelling unrelated to the owner and each other.
  • Accessory dwelling units
  • Supervised student housing
  • Relative Homestead per [Minn. Stat. § 273.124, subd. 1c]  


For the purpose of safeguarding the health and safety of the general public and of the occupants of rental properties, city staff may conduct official inspections to determine the condition of the buildings and premises.  If an inspection is required by city staff, a written notice will be mailed to the occupant not less than 72 hours prior to the scheduled inspection.  In the event of an emergency where immediate danger to the public exists, access must be given immediately.  It is unlawful for any person to interfere with the performance of these official duties.

Need More Information?

For questions regarding the ordinance, rental property requirements, licensing, or to request an inspection, please email Mary Lein or call 651-450-2552.

City Resources

Resources for Landlords & Tenants

  • Landlords and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities Per the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office: The rights and duties of landlords and tenants in Minnesota are spelled out in federal law, states statutes, local ordinances, safety and housing codes, common law, contract law, and a number of court decisions. These responsibilities can vary from place to place around the state. Certain rights and duties apply to landlords and tenants everywhere in Minnesota. View the guidebook to Landlords and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities or contact the Minnesota State Attorney General’s Office at 651-296-3333 (TTY: 651-297-7206).
  • Minnesota Multi Housing Association (MHA): MHA is a state-wide nonprofit trade organization. With nearly 2,100 members representing more than 250,000 housing units throughout Minnesota, MHA is the voice of the state's multi-housing industry.
  • Home Line: Home Line is a Minnesota tenant advocacy organization providing confidential, free, and low-cost legal, organizing, education, and advocacy services to tenants throughout Minnesota. Contact them at Free Legal Help for Renters - HOME Line or phone 612-728-5767/English, 612-255-8870/Espanol, 612-255-7104/Hmoob, 800-866-3546/Greater Minnesota.