SE City Council discusses ordinance requiring rental property inspections

Oks deputy registrar reimbursement

SLEEPY EYE — The Sleepy Eye City Council discussed and unanimously approved the first reading of a rental inspection ordinance at a special meeting Monday.

“The ordinance is really for tenants so they can go after a landlord if things aren’t right,” said councilor Larry Braun.

After considering the nine-page document, councilor Joann Schmidt approved the first reading of the ordinance revising Title 4, Chapter 4 of the Sleepy Eye City Code regarding rental housing and rental inspections.

Commissioners favored Sleepy Eye City Attorney Alissa Fischer’s suggestion that the ordinance include an “early bird discount” that would reduce the first inspection fee to landlords from $100 to $60 if they agreed to have them done this year.

Commissioners also liked Fischer’s suggestion that discounts could also be available for inspections done in the same building as long as they were all done together.

Rental inspections would be required for dwelling units occupied by immediate family members including the owner’s parents, grandparents, spouse, child or grandchild, whether related by birth, adoption or marriage.

Rental licenses would be required or it would be unlawful for any person as the owner, manager or other person having control of any dwelling to lease, rent or permit to be leased, rented or occupied, any dwelling within the City of Sleepy Eye without first obtaining a rental license.

All properties shall be inspected by the City every two years. Additional inspections may be made for all properties based on complaints received. Rental licenses can be revoked at any time on grounds set in the ordinance.

Space and structure standards include equipping every dwelling with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors as required by the Minnesota State Building Code.

All leases on downtown apartments shall contain language requiring tenants to park of U.S. Highway 14 for anything beyond momentary parking.

Anyone who violates any ordinance provision shall be punished by a fine not to exceed the maximum penalty for misdemeanor crimes.

In other business, The city council unanimously approved a $26,978.07 deputy registrar reimbursement authorized by the Minnesota Legislature for added costs due to Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) technical issues over the past several years.

Action came on a motion by commissioner Doug Pelzel, seconded by commissioner Nate Stevermer. Acting City Manager Bob Elston said the money will go the City of Sleepy Eye general fund.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).