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Everything You Need to Know About St. Paul’s New Tenant Protections

Alyssa Strom


UPDATE: Judge stops enforcement of S.A.F.E. Housing ordinances while lawsuit against protections is pending.

Saint Paul’s Stable, Accessible, Fair, Equitable (S.A.F.E.) Housing Tenant Protections went into effect on March 1, 2021. Here is an overview on what that means for landlords and tenants in Saint Paul.

Tenant Screening Guidelines:

There are new guidelinesfor applicant screening as it relates to rental, criminal and credit history. The specific tenant screening guidelines can be found here.

Security Deposit Limitations:

Landlords may not charge or accept a Security Deposit higher than one month’s rent. Landlords also not charge or accept a prepaid rent amount greater than one month’s rent.

Just Cause Notice Policy:

One of the most controversial additions to Saint Paul’s tenant protections. Landlords are only allowed to non-renew a lease if one of ten “just causes” are met. Allowable just causes include:

·      Non-payment of rent

·      Repeated late payment of rent

·      Material non-compliance

·      Refusal to renew

·      Occupancy by property owner or family member

·      Building Demolishment and Dwelling Unit Conversion

·      Rehab and Renovation

·      Complying with a government order to vacate

·      Occupancy conditioned on employment

·      Exceeding Occupancy

Advance Notice Policy:

Applicable to Affordable Housing Buildings, defined as any rental housing where 20% or more of the units rent for an amount at or below 80% Area Median Income, sellers must give their tenants a 90-day notice of the proposed sale. Once an Affordable Housing Building is sold, the new owner must provide a notice of completed sale by notifying the City of Saint Paul and tenants within 30 days of the purchase.

Does Your Rental Qualify for the Advance Notice Policy?

Most rental properties likely qualify for this new policy given the AMI Rental Rates listed below.

2020 80% AMI Rental Rates

While these changes will be challenging for small landlords,we hope to be a resource for owners and future owners in deciding whether tobuy or sell in St. Paul.

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