There will be a vote this fall on a rent control ordinance in St. Paul. I am not against rent control but am against the ordinance. It is an across-the-board 3% cap on rent increases in any 12 month period. Current rents will not be changed.
The 3% cap even applies if the property is vacant and waiting for new tenants. The 3% isn’t tied to inflation or to anything else.
There are exceptions where owners can get a variance if property taxes go up or if money is needed for repairs. There isn’t any system in place to handle those variances and the process will be expensive for the city which means more property tax increases. Property taxes make renting and owning more expensive and they keep rising.
Under the proposed ordinance all rental properties are treated the same. Properties large and small and luxury rentals too. New construction and existing construction. Properties owned by individuals, small businesses, and large corporations alike. There isn’t a rent control ordinance like it anywhere in the world.
I am in favor of affordable housing and rent control could help but the way the law is written I have to vote against it. The main reason why we don’t have affordable housing is capitalism.
The rent stabilization question as it will appear on the ballot:
Should the City adopt the proposed Ordinance limiting rent increases? The Ordinance limits residential rent increases to no more than 3% in a 12-month period, regardless of whether there is a change of occupancy. The 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. A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of limiting rent increases. A “no” vote is a vote against limiting rent increases.
Just vote no. A yes vote isn’t going to lower rents or make housing more affordable.
On a related note:
Remember the St. paul tenant protection ordinance? It was/is the strongest tenant protection law anywhere. “On April 19, 2021, a federal judge temporarily enjoined enforcement of Saint Paul’s Tenant Protections Ordinance. As of April 19, 2021, and until further notice, the City will temporarily cease enforcement of the ordinance’s requirements, including any rules previously posted.