Single-Family Home Rental License Moratorium

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Single-Family Home Rental License Moratorium

On August 22, 2022, the City of Columbia Heights adopted a twelve-month interim ordinance establishing a moratorium on new rental licenses for single-family residential structures. In early 2022, the City Council began discussions of a rental density cap over concerns that it has become increasingly difficult for potential home buyers wishing to purchase property in the City to identify financially attainable options. Many such options are quickly purchased by remote corporate entities and converted to rental properties. Further, the City is concerned that the overall number of rental properties in the City has increased at an unsustainable rate. In addition, the City is aware of possible shortcomings within City Code relating to provisions governing rental licenses and property maintenance and would like to be more proactive in securing compliance for the health, safety, and welfare of City residents generally.

The City Council passed the moratorium to afford city staff the time and space to determine the current makeup and status of the rental housing stock within the city, determine the effect and feasibility of creating a rental density cap on single family residences, and consider whether the city has sufficient staffing, resources, and processes to establish and maintain a rental density cap.

The moratorium does not apply to: (a) any complete rental license application submitted to the City on or before August 22, 2022; (b) any application for renewal of an existing rental license; (c) any application already approved or in the process of approval by the City. Any application submitted and received prior to August 22, 2022, but deemed incomplete by the City, shall be returned to the applicant, along with the application fee, and no resubmission of such application shall be accepted during the moratorium.

It’s important for Single-family Rental Licensees to understand that during the moratorium period, rental licenses of single-family properties that are revoked, terminated, or expire for failure to renew are ineligible to apply for a new rental license until the moratorium has ended.

A copy of the interim ordinance establishing a moratorium within the city on new rental license applications for single family homes can be downloaded here.