The City of Albert Lea has adopted three new ordinances along with the Albert Lea Minimum Housing Code to promote safe and crime-free housing in rental property:
- Rental Housing Licensing
- Safe & Crime Free Rental Housing Program
- Public Nuisance
The program goal is to be proactive in reducing life safety hazards and in reducing crime in rental property.
The ordinances benefit both landlords and tenants by providing an effective program to eliminate problems with rental property. The ordinances provide a tool for the City of Albert Lea to effectively resolve issues with rental property.
If You Are a Landlord
All rental property as defined in the ordinance needs to be licensed effective February 1, 2009. Applications for a license will be available at the Albert Lea Fire and Inspection Department, located at 221 East Clark Street (lower level) in the Albert Lea City Hall building (or download pdf file below).
How the Program Works
Rental property owners need to complete a Rental License Application and pay a license fee at the Fire and Inspection Department. At that time you may schedule an appointment for your Minimum Housing Code inspection. If you are unable to make your inspection appointment, you must call the Fire and Inspection Department to cancel and reschedule.
(Cancellations received 24 hours before the inspection will not be required to pay a reinspection fee when a new date is scheduled.)
To schedule an inspection or to cancel an appointment you would call the Albert Lea Fire and Inspection Department at 507.377.4340.
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Notify your tenants prior to the inspection to get permission to enter all units on the scheduled inspection day.
- You may pick up a copy of the inspection check-off form prior to the inspection to assist you in identifying and fixing problems prior to the inspection.
- If the inspector finds violations with your property, you will be provided with a copy of the inspection noting the problems, the code that applies to the problem, and a reasonable amount of time to make any needed improvements. After correcting the problems, schedule a time for the property to be re-inspected. The license will be issued when all problems are corrected.
- If you have any questions or concerns about the inspection or correcting a problem, please feel free to contact the inspector for assistance.
- Upon the successful completion of the inspection, you will be awarded a license.
Any license that is allowed to lapse for more than 30 days will be cancelled. Owners of these properties will lose all grandfathering rights. To have your license reinstated, you would need to apply for a license and bring your building up to current codes.
Public Nuisance Ordinance
This ordinance provides a formal procedure to notify a rental property owner or manager of disorderly conduct that occurs on the property.
The ordinance requires a rental property owner or manager to respond to and resolve the occurrences of disorderly conduct occurring on the property. The City may take administrative action against the rental registration certificate if necessary.
How the Public Nuisance Ordinance Works
If the licensed premises is involved in a violation of the public nuisance ordinance, the City shall notify the license holder to take appropriate action to prevent further violations. If a second nuisance violation occurs on the premises within 12 months, the license holder will be required to participate in a problem solving conference to prevent further nuisance violations on the property. If a third nuisance violation occurs within 12 months the license or right to obtain a license may be revoked or suspended for a specific unit or units located on the premises.
No suspension or revocation or other sanctions shall be imposed where one or more of the three required nuisance violations notices were mailed or delivered to the landlord after the rental property owner has filed an unlawful detainer action with the District Court for the particular unit or units identified in the public nuisance notice.
Safe & Crime Free Housing Program
The Safe & Crime Free Housing Program is voluntary and is offered to improve security and overall safety to your property. You are not required to participate. However, by participating in this program, you can reduce crime by learning what changes are needed to improve security in your units. Many crimes can be prevented by a proactive approach to crime. The goal of the inspection is to make it more difficult to commit crimes in rental property by enhancing security and making simple changes to reduce crime in your area.
This program is offered by the Albert Lea Police Department to reduce crime in rental property.
For inquiries on the Safe & Crime Free Housing Program please contact the Albert Lea Police Department at 507.377.5200