Single-Family Home Rental License Cap

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Single-Family Home Rental License Cap

In 2023, the City of Columbia Heights created a Rental Density Cap for all single-family residential homes.

On Aug 14, 2023, the City Council of the City of Columbia Heights passed ordinance No. 1685 which established a per-block rental density cap on single-family rental dwellings. Rental properties such as town homes, condos, duplexes, or multifamily buildings are not affected by the density cap, only single-family rentals are subject to ordinance 1685. The ordinance amends Chapter Five of Columbia Heights City Code creating the rental density cap while establishing exemption procedures and cap implementation processes. The rental density cap splits the city into blocks and caps the number of single-family rental properties per that block. If someone applies for a single-family rental license, they will be required to meet the cap in order to obtain a rental license. The official number of rentals per block is outlined in Table 1 of the ordinance and can be found below. Applicants that are not allowed to obtain a single-family rental license because of the density limits, will be able to request an exemption. It will be up to the Council’s sole discretion to grant the exemption requests. Granted exemptions will be able to obtain a temporary license for the span of one year. For situations lasting more than a year the applicant can re-apply for the temporary license but a property owner is only allowed to have a temporary license for no more than two years. Temporary licenses will still be required to meet all building health and safety standards. Single-family rental applications are distributed on a first come first serve basis.

A copy of Ordinance 1685 can be downloaded here.

A property cannot be occupied until a license application is approved by the City Council and the license is issued. Application for a rental license is not an approval to occupancy the property. Occupancy of an unlicensed property prior to the license being approved may result in citations to the Property Owner and/or Occupants.

The rental inspection of all new rental properties is performed by the city’s Building Official. The property is inspected for compliance with State and City Codes. 

  1. Download the Community Development’s Initial Rental Inspection Application here.
  2. Complete the Initial Rental Inspection Application and submit it to the Community Development Department, the City Planner will review the initial application and respond with any issues.
  3. A representative from the community Development Department will reach out to process payment and to set up an initial inspection. After payment is submitted you can contact the City of Columbia Heights Community Development Department at (763) 706-3670 to set up an initial inspection of the interior and the exterior of the property. You have 15 days after being contacted to pay for and schedule the inspection.
  4. The property Owner needs to correct any violations found during the inspection within 90 days of the inspection, in order to proceed forward with the licensing process. Building Department's Initial Rental Property Inspection checklist.
  5. Once the property successfully passes the Community Development inspection, the Building Official issues a letter of compliance to the owner. If at any point an applicant violates the timeline outlined above they will have to reapply and be moved to the back of the line. Certain timeline exemptions can be granted by the building official.