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This program requires all rental properties in Edina be licensed. City staff will inspect the properties routinely to make sure they are compliant with fire and health codes.
This program will help ensure rental properties are safe for tenants. Landlords and/or tenants may be unaware of potential hazards. Or properties might be fine, but the tenants might be doing something to endanger themselves or the property.
In some cases, tenants are aware their rental has serious issues, but are afraid to report the problem for fear of being kicked out, Hawkinson said. With the affordable rental vacancy rate at less than 1 percent in Edina, those tenants can’t take any risks. Often those are seniors on fixed incomes.
No one knows the exact number because previously there had been no licensing or registration program. A very rough estimate is more than 100 apartment complexes with nearly 6,700 units and more than 1,200 homes are rented in Edina.
Yes. Minneapolis, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park and Hopkins are among the cities that have rental licensing programs.
Common areas of apartments buildings are inspected, but all other inspections have been complaint based. If no one complains, a problem can go unaddressed.
For a single unit (basement, home, condominium), it’s $180. For apartments, it’s $180 plus $17 per unit. Licenses must be renewed annually at the same fee.
Single-family homes, condos and townhome rentals will be inspected every-other year.
Common spaces in apartment buildings will be inspected annually, and a third of the units will be inspected each year, so all the units will be inspected over a three-year period.
Inspections will be scheduled in advance to give landlords and tenants due notice and minimize inconvenience. Properties where violations are found may be inspected more often.
Edina’s Health Division, which will run the program, has hired two inspectors for that along with another person to handle licensing and support.
Inspectors will look for functioning smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors if required, adequate and unblocked escape routes, grills on decks, functioning plumbing and heating, safe wiring, mold, bugs, rodents and general sanitation.
Inspectors will focus on educating tenants and landlords. The goal is to get them in compliance, so they will be given time to correct most issues.
As the program starts up, landlords will be educated on the program. However, a landlord who intentionally avoids licensing will be subject to fines.
The licensing fees were set to cover the cost of the program so other taxpayers would not have to pay for it.
The licensing program technically went into effect in November 2019, but the City is slowly rolling it out.