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March 22, 2023

Eagan Adopts Rental Licensing Ordinance

The ordinance aims to improve safety in housing

- The City of Eagan adopted a rental licensing ordinance on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. The purpose of the rental licensing program is to ensure safe housing for tenants and long-term maintenance of the City’s housing stock. The ordinance is similar to those adopted by more than a dozen Twin Cities communities, including Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Richfield, and St. Louis Park. The ordinance is posted on the City’s website at /rental-licensing.

Program benefits

The rental licensing program includes the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

“As housing stock ages, communities can see unintended consequences like deferred maintenance and less attention to safety features such as smoke detectors,” Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire said. “And that’s why the Council adopted a new rental licensing ordinance that creates accountability and ensures safe housing in Eagan for everyone.”

"Many communities see fire-safety improvements with the implementation of rental licensing programs,” said Eagan Fire Chief Hugo Searle, noting that the Burnsville Fire Department experienced a decrease in fires and fire deaths after that city’s program went into effect.

“This program will help the City verify that rental units have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, which are such important tools for protecting both lives and property,” Searle said. Other nearby cities have seen a large number of new smoke detectors installed after rental licensing programs began. For example, Roseville landlords installed nearly 4,000 smoke detectors since the beginning of that city’s rental licensing program.

Rental licensing also helps tenants advocate for repairs to ensure safe housing without needing to access the court system. “A tenant may contact the City with concerns about unsafe conditions,” said Jill Hutmacher, Eagan’s community development director. “The City will inspect the property and, if it finds a maintenance violation, work with the property owner to ensure that repairs are completed. A licensing program makes these issues easier to address by allowing the City to enforce a code to keep buildings in good condition.”

Rental Units in Eagan

Including single-family and multi-family units, approximately 30% of Eagan homes are now rented. There are approximately 9,000 rental properties in Eagan, and over 1,300 of those were converted from owner-occupied homes.

Next Steps

Rental licensing will begin being implemented on July 1, 2023. Licensing deadlines will be phased based on the type of unit and geographic location. Landlords will submit online licensing applications and city staff will reach out regarding inspections.