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City of Lester Prairie Ordinance 226 - Rental Housing

ORDINANCE NO. 226

AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE REGULATION OF RENTAL HOUSING UNITS IN THE CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE,

PROVIDING FOR THE LICENSURE AND INSPECTIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION THEREOF

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. The following shall be added to the Lester Prairie Municipal Code:

"Section 5.7 RENTAL HOUSING"

5.7.1 Purpose. The purpose of this ordinance is to ensure the safety for residents of rental property in the City of Lester Prairie.

5.7.2 Definitions and Interpretations. Except as may otherwise be provided or clearly implied by context, all terms shall be given their commonly accepted definitions. The singular shall include the plural and the plural shall include the singular. The masculine shall include the feminine and neuter, and vice-versa. The term "shall" means mandatory and the term "may" means permissive. The term "license" is interchangeable with the term "certificate of occupancy." The following terms shall have the definitions given to them:

5.7.2.1 Rental Dwelling. A building wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes by human occupants.

5.7.2.2 Dwelling Unit. A room or group of rooms located within a rental dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating purposes.

5.7.2.3 Inspection. The act of a government representative ensuring compliance with this ordinance.

5.7.2.4 Occupant. The person that resides in the rental dwelling unit.

5.7.2.5 Owner. The person that owns the rental dwelling.

5.7.2.6 Mixed Use Building. A building that has both a residential use and any other use.

5.7.3 Licensure of Rental Dwelling. All rental dwellings with one or more dwelling units and all mixed use buildings with one or more dwelling units must be licensed. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to operate, or cause to be operated, whether as owner, lessor, agent or in any capacity within the City of Lester Prairie any such rental dwelling without a license to do so, as hereinafter provided. Any rental dwelling being sold must have a current certificate of occupancy, unless dwelling property is being sold for demolition as in the case of mobile property, the dwelling unit(s) are being moved outside of the City limits.

5.7.3.1 Application. An application for a license to rent dwelling units shall be made on a form provided by the City. The application shall contain the full name of the applicant, the applicant's residential and business addresses and telephone numbers, the location of the dwelling unit(s) for which the license is sought, and any additional information the city deems necessary. Upon receipt of a completed application, the City Clerk, applicant and the City's designated inspector shall arrange for the inspection and payment of designated fees. If the application is deemed to be incomplete, there shall be an opportunity for the applicant to provide the missing information.

5.7.3.2 Issuance or Denial of Certificate. Upon inspection of the rental dwelling, if the City Clerk or designated inspector finds that the requirement of this ordinance have been met, a Rental Dwelling Certificate or renewal shall be issued. If it is found that such requirements have not been met, the City Clerk or designee inspector, shall give written notice to the applicant specifying all deficiencies and specifying a time and/or date by which such deficiencies must be corrected. If such deficiencies are not corrected by the date specified in the written notice, the license application or renewal shall be denied.

5.7.3.3 Term. The rental Dwelling Certificate issued by the City shall be good for a period of three (3) years for date of inspection.

5.7.3.4 Revocation or Suspension. Any certificate issued under this Section may be revoked or suspended as provided in the Violations and Penalties subsection of this Section.

5.7.3.5 Transfers. The certificate will automatically transfer with title of ownership.

5.7.3.6 Renewals. The renewal of a certificate issued under this section shall be handled in the same manner as the original application. The request for a renewal shall be made 30 (thirty) working days before the expiration of the current certificate. The issuance of a certificate issued under this Section shall be considered a privilege and not an absolute right of the applicant and shall not entitle the holder to an automatic renewal of the certificate.

5.7.4 Fees. The fee for the certificate and inspection must be paid before the designated inspector will inspect the rental dwelling units. If the designated inspector waives the inspection, no fee shall be paid for the inspection but the license fee must still be paid. The fee for a certificate under this Section shall be as set from time to time by the Council in the City's annually established fee schedule.

5.7.5 Compliance Checks and Inspections

5.7.5.1 Initial Inspection. Every applicant for an initial certificate shall assist the City in making an inspection of all portions of the rental dwellings. This includes the obligation of the applicant to notify any occupants of the building or buildings as to the time when the inspection shall be conducted by the City's Building Inspector or his designee prior to the initial issuance of any such certificate. Any application for an initial license shall, in addition to the certificate fee required, be accompanied by payment of an inspection fee.

5.7.5.2 Renewal Inspection. Whenever a renewal certificate for a rental dwelling is sought, the rental dwelling shall be inspected or a waiver signed by the designated inspector before a certificate shall be issued.

5.7.5.3 Compliance Checks. The City's Building Inspector or his designee may inspect any unit upon receiving a credible complaint. If the unit is deemed to be out of compliance with the Minnesota Building Code or the Uniform Fire Code, the designated inspector shall suspend the rental license. The certificate shall remain suspended until the designated inspector certifies that the conditions warranting the suspension have been corrected.

5.7.5.4 Inspection Waivers. The designated inspector has the right to waive inspections for any reason, including inspections made by other government agencies. A copy of the inspection report for an inspection made by another government agency must be provided to the City upon completion of the inspection.

5.7.6 Occupancy Requirement. Every rooming unit occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain a minimum of 70 (seventy) square feet of floor area for the first person and an extra 40 (forty) square feet of floor area for each additional person.

5.7.7 Violations and Penalties. Upon discovery of a suspected violation, the violator shall be issued a citation by the City's designated building inspector law enforcement agent and given notice of his or her right to be heard on the accusation. Each violation, and every day in which a violation occurs or continues, shall constitute a separate offense. Any person found to be in violation of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to the maximum penalty authorized by State law for a misdemeanor. In addition to any fine or other penalty, whether administrative, civil, or criminal, violation of this Section shall be grounds for the suspension or revocation of the license. Before any license is suspended or revoked under this Section, the licensee shall be given notice of the alleged violation and shall be given the right to request a hearing on the matter before the City Administrator and to appeal the finds of the hearing on suspension or revocation to the City Council.

Fee Schedule:

Inspection Fees ­ $10.00 per unit

Section 2. This ordinance shall be in effect and in force from and after its passage and publication.

Adopted this 9th day of December, 2002.

CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE

/s/Eric Angvall, Mayor

ATTEST: Marilyn L. Pawelk, Clerk


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