Rental Licensing Program Overview

Program Overview:

On November 27, 2006, the City Council approved an Ordinance regulating rental housing in the city. The purpose of the Ordinance is to “protect the public health, safety and welfare of citizens of the city who occupy rental units by adopting a Rental Dwelling inspection and maintenance program that corrects substandard conditions and maintains a standard for existing and newly constructed Rental Dwellings in the city.”

The Ordinance concept was established in the fall of 2000, when the City Council adopted the Implementation Plan for Quality Housing. The Plan outlined four strategies to create and sustain quality housing in West St. Paul that are intended to result in a housing stock that is aesthetically more attractive, has increased valuation, is healthier for residents and improves the security and social fabric of the community at large. One of the four strategies identified in the Plan included creating a rental licensing program to promote the overall health and safety of residents.

Several strategies have been identified to meet the goals and objectives of the Ordinance:

  • Design, implement and market a Rental Licensing Program and STAR Program (Safer Tenants and Rental),
  • Enforce the provisions of the Ordinance, and
  • Design and implement program evaluation measures.


What is Rental Licensing?
The Rental Licensing Program consists of several parts as follows:

  • City Council Approval of the Rental License
  • Rental License Application & Initial Background Check of property owner, partner or Corporate Officer
  • Inspections by the City of West St. Paul or through an Alternative Inspection Report
  • STAR Program
  • Rental License Approval Process (PDF)
  • FAQ

What is Rental Property?
Single-family, duplex, triplex, four-plex, apartments, condominiums, town homes or another residential rental dwelling that is used for residential rental occupancy by one or more persons who are not the owner or a member of the owner’s family.

Rental Density
The Rental Density Map is updated after each City Council meeting to show up to date licenses available for each qualified block in R1 Zoning Districts. Please contact 651-552-4144 for questions on the map or how to apply for a provisional rental license. View the rental density map.

Background Checks
Please call 651-552-4235 for more information on the criteria for conducting the background investigations.