Case of landlords vs. city winds back to St. Paul

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 30, 2012 - 8:53 PM

The trial -- which GOP leaders say is result of a deal with the feds -- will focus on the effects of housing code enforcement.

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tammy1964Oct. 1, 12 7:27 AM

"It really comes down to what is a reasonable maintenance standard," said John Shoemaker, lawyer for the landlords. He said that for more than a decade the city has required landlords to meet a higher standard than the one required by the state.-------------A reasonable standard would be that you are in compliance with the ordinances. Like working smoke detectors. No broken windows. Electrical outlets and light switches have covers on them. All stairs have railings for them. No lead paint. Valid rental license. The list could go on. It sounds more like the landlords want to claim the "don't blame me" excuse. You, as the owner/landlord are responsible for the condition of your rental property. In another part of the article it says the landlord couldn't recall the race of one tenant. Yeah you could, especially if you kept accurate rental records. More than likely you are claiming you can't recall the race of the tenant because it would torpedo your own case. I have suspected for years that in some cases inspections pays attention to what the word on the street is. If it is known on the street that you have rundown units, have housing code violations, then inspections is going to inspect you more.

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mmplswOct. 1, 12 7:40 AM

I can see both sides. I am a landlord in MPLS and run nice properties and am in compliance with the city. I also rent to people with excellent backgrounds, no one else has a chance. If you are too hard on these landlords in the low end market, they will begin to drop out because it is not financially feasible and we will be subsidizing these people's rent in government housing and paying to build it. A lot of these types of tenants- you can give them a nice clean place, they move in, and have your place out of compliance again in no time with the mess they make. I would never be in that market because of this. If all landlords were like me, there would be no affordable housing for people that have dings on their record and we would have to subsidize building and rent of affordable housing and A LOT would have to be built cost lots of money.

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galljcOct. 1, 12 8:29 AM

I have a friend who is a landlord in St Paul. He was required to not just replace broken windows with good windows, but was required to actually enlarge the window opening as the old homes had smaller window openings. Imagine if this was inflicted on owner occupant buildings.

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