St. Paul City Council approve measure to revoke problem landlords’ licenses

by Beth Hornby

The St. Paul City Council approved a resolution Wednesday that allows the city to revoke landlords’ rental licenses or criminally charge landlords for receiving four or more housing violations.

Council members voted 6-1 to approve the resolution, which will go into effect in 30 days. Neighborhood Housing and Property Improvement director Andy Dawkins, who proposed the bill, said it will make landlords responsible for over-occupancy and rowdy tenants.

The bill also allows housing inspectors to request an inspection if they see exterior violations. Previously, tenants had to call to report violations before an inspection occurred.

Tenants can still refuse inspections, and landlords must be contacted before an interior inspection.

Council member Jerry Blake said he did not support the resolution because tenants do not know they can refuse an inspection.

Landlords can be dismissed from criminal charges if a tenant breaks a written lease agreement related to the violation.