About the Rent Stabilization Ordinance

The City of Saint Paul’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance was initially approved by voters in November 2021 and was amended by City Council in September 2022. Changes to the law took effect on January 1, 2023. The Ordinance aims to address a shortage of affordable residential rental housing in the City of Saint Paul and ensure all residents have access to affordable housing.   

Residential rent increases are limited to no more than 3% in a 12-month period, although there are several exceptions:

  1. Standard Allowable Increase without City approval: 3%   
  2. Self-Certification Increase Exception: Available for 3%-8% (evaluated annually)
  3. Just Cause Vacancy Increase Exception: CPI + 8%   
  4. Staff Determination Increase Exception: No limit with appropriate justification

Find more detailed information about the allowed exceptions on the 2023 Rules and Process page.

What Should Tenants Look Out for with the New Rules? 

  • City staff will notify tenants by mail if their landlord has submitted an application requesting an exception to the 3% rent cap. City staff will also notify tenants if the application is approved or denied.  

  • Tenants will have 45 days from the date of the City’s determination on the exception request to file an appeal (learn more about the appeals process in the FAQ section below).  

  • Utilities may be impacted by the new rules. If the landlord previously paid the tenant’s utilities and the landlord changes the Rental Agreement to require the tenant to pay utilities as a pass-through expense, the landlord must decrease the rent to account for the increase in the monthly amount the tenant will pay.  

Utilities Information

Tenants should pay special attention to utilities and learn how they are handled with the new rules. If the landlord previously paid the tenant’s utilities and the landlord changes the Rental Agreement to require the tenant to pay utilities as a pass-through expense, the landlord must decrease the Rent to account for the increase in the monthly amount the tenant will pay. 

Saint Paul’s Rent Stabilization policies direct how utility billing is handled. Utility billing to landlords or tenants depends on several factors including previous lease arrangements and how the meters are set up.  

  1. A separately metered building where each unit has its own meter, utilities are paid in addition to rent and are considered part of the 3% rent increase cap. 

  1. A shared meter building where utility use is tracked by each apartment, utilities are paid in addition to rent and are not considered part of the 3% rent increase cap. 

  1. A shared meter building where utility use is tracked by each apartment, utilities are included in rent and are considered rent if it is a pass-through expense or if the tenant pays the utility directly, and are considered part of the 3% rent increase cap. 

More information about how utilities will be considered, a list of what constitutes “just cause,” and definitions of terms may be found in the amendments to Chapter 193A related to Rent Stabilization or by viewing the utilities infographic.  

Frequently Asked Questions and Common Scenarios

File a Complaint

The Ordinance allows complaints to be submitted for failure to comply with the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Complaints are focused on issues such as contesting a rent increase and can be anonymous, although detailed information is useful for complaint investigations. 

File a Complaint

The City is committed to making its services, programs, and activities available to all. The interactive webform on this page is available in English and Spanish. For additional assistance translating the rules, process steps, and the Ordinance, in various languages please contact the Department of Safety and Inspections by email at rent-stabilization@ci.stpaul.mn.us or by phone at 651-266-8553.  

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Find information about Rent Stabilization rulemaking and implementation for 2023.

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About the Rent Stabilization Ordinance

 Information about the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and summary of rules can be found on these pages.

About the Rent Stabilization Ordinance

Last Edited: January 19, 2023