March 4, 2020

Peter Leggett

SAINT PAUL, MN - Today, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali announced the S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protections Ordinance, a set of five safe, accessible, fair and equitable policies for the City of Saint Paul. The policies include tenant rights and responsibilities, a just cause notice, an advance notice of sale, security deposit limitations, and tenant screening guidelines. The ordinance will be presented to the Saint Paul City Council for a first reading at the March 11 City Council meeting. 

“Stable, accessible, fair, and equitable housing is a basic human need,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “Our S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protections ensures we can keep this promise for everyone in our community.” 

“Over half of our community is now renting, and everyone deserves a safe, stable home and protection under the law,” said Councilmember Mitra Jalali. “I'm proud to bring forth this ordinance in partnership with our community, Mayor Carter and my council colleagues.” 

The S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protections ordinance includes the following policies:

  • Tenant Rights and Responsibilities Information: The Tenant Rights and Responsibilities Information policy ensures tenants and landlords know their rights, responsibilities and what resources are available to them. It requires that a packet and poster summarizing this information be provided to tenants by the landlord at lease signing.
  • Security Deposit Limit: The Security Deposit Limitation policy ensures equitable access to housing by ensuring tenants will not be required to pay more than a single month’s rent as a security deposit. It also includes a prepaid rent limitation that ensures tenants will not be required to pre-pay more than one month’s rent at move-in.
  • Tenant Screening Guidelines: The Tenant Screening Guidelines policy ensures fair access to housing by creating uniform screening criteria for applicants related to rental, criminal and credit history.
  • Just Cause Notice: The Just Cause Notice policy increases housing stability by ensuring landlords provide just cause for nonrenewal of lease or termination of tenancy at the time notice is given. Just cause includes nonpayment of rent and repeated late payment of rent,  among other criteria.
  • Advance Notice of Sale: The Advance Notice of Sale policy supports the preservation of affordable housing and addresses displacement pressures faced by tenants. It ensures that a notice of a proposed sale be provided to the City and tenant before an affordable property is placed on the market as well as after the transfer of ownership occurs, coupled with a tenant protection period after the sale.​​

During the summer and fall of 2019, the City of Saint Paul engaged a wide array of stakeholders to gather feedback on how best to support the City’s fair housing goals of decreasing displacement and increasing stable, accessible, fair and equitable housing opportunities for everyone. 

Stakeholder engagement was led by the Office of Financial Empowerment in partnership with City Council and the Department of Planning and Economic Development and included renters, homeowners, organizations, and landlords. These efforts included 14 community events and a total of 238 people engaged for a total of 801 feedback data points. The information gathered directly informed the development of the S.A.F.E. Housing Saint Paul Tenant Protections ordinance. 



Last Edited: November 29, 2021