Overview

About Rulemaking and Implementation

On November 2, 2021, Saint Paul voters approved a Rent Stabilization Ordinance for the City of Saint Paul. The Ordinance limits residential rent increases to no more than 3% in a 12-month period. Ordinance also directs the City to create a process for landlords to request an exception to the 3% limit based on the right to a reasonable return on investment.  

After the Rent Stabilization Ordinance became law, the Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) was tasked with working toward a May 1, 2022, implementation date. Subsequently, the City Council adopted amendments to the ordinance which went into effect January 1, 2023.  To that end, DSI has developed rules to clarify and implement Saint Paul’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Rules clarify how a law or policy is to be carried out or enforced and have the force and effect of law.  

This webpage provides an array of information including proposed Rent Stabilization rules, along with processes and definitions by which landlords would request an exception to the 3% limit.  

Final Rules

About the Rulemaking Process

DSI created rules that clarify how landlord requests for exceptions to the limitation on rent increases will be processed. The department has also proposed rules that identify the information to be considered when determining whether a landlord has demonstrated that an exception is needed to achieve a reasonable return on investment. While Section 193A.06 of the Ordinance lays out nine factors that DSI must consider when determining whether a landlord’s request should be granted, it does not specify a means of analyzing those factors. DSI’s rules create a means to analyze landlord requests using the nine factors required by the Ordinance. 

With the amendments made by City Council, additional rules include just cause vacancy, the 20-year new construction exception, and low-income housing provider income. 

For the definitions of terms below, see the ordinance language.  The rules below are intended to clarify the ordinance language, not create new or different requirements. Each section of the ordinance has its own rules however, many relate to each other.  

Review a PDF of the Final Rules for 2023

Process for Requesting Exception to 3% Rent Cap (effective starting January 2023)

Please note that exceptions for new construction or low-income housing are handled separately. 

Download an accessible PDF version of the process for requesting an exception.

Complete Initial Financial Worksheet and Other Forms

Submit "Rent Increase Exception Request" form

The form is available online and the rules describe what needs to be submitted, including:

  • Applicant information
  • Property information
  • Justification selection
  • Increase amount proposed
  • Portion of building impacted
  • Rent roll for notification - unit numbers (use the format "Resident of Unit #" rather than include names)

Self-Certification Administrative Process

Self-certification is available for rent increases between 3% and 8% (evaluated annually).

Staff Determination

Landlords will receive confirmation of the application for a rent increase exception, including:

  • Information for submitting supporting documentation
  • Next steps for making a determination
  • Staff contact information

Residents will be notified of a pending application.

Work Towards Determination

This step includes:

  • Dialogue with City staff
  • Submitting additional details or missing information
  • Please note: an application is abandoned if no action after 60 days

Conclusion

Staff Determination

The staff determination process concludes with:

  • Determination letter provided to applicant and tenants (notification comes from the Department of Safety and Inspections)
  • Option for appeal within 45 days of determination

Self-Certification

After submitting the self-certification, landlords will receive:

  • Confirmation of receipt of self-certification
  • Tenant notification (from the Department of Safety and Inspections)
  • Option for appeal within 45 days of determination
  • Audit information

Appeal to Hearing Officer

This is optional for landlords or tenants not satisfied with staff determination. 

Related Content

A young couple signing a lease document

Renters & Tenants

If you are a renter or tenant, this page outlines information and resources about the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, your rights as a tenant and frequently asked questions.

Information for Renters & Tenants
Property manager discussing signing documents with a tenant

Landlords & Property Managers

Information and resources about landlord’s rights, frequently asked questions, and contact information can be found on these pages.

Information for Landlords & Property Managers
Icon of house, apartment, and information icon

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 25, 2023