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Struggling Homeowners Sue City of Winona, MN

small town rentals

The city of Winona, Minnesota, has an unusual ordinance in place governing rental houses: No more than 30 percent of houses on a given block can be turned into rentals.

Homeowners Ethan Dean, Holly Richard, and Ted and Lauren Dzierzbicki call this law “unconstitutional and illegal” and are suing the city in an attempt to obtain rental licenses for their properties, which they haven’t been able to sell, given current market conditions.

The city enacted the 30 percent law in 2005, in an attempt to unclog street parking and minimize neighborhood disturbances, while also preventing a substantial portion of any given block’s houses from falling into disrepair. Now that the housing market has fallen apart, homeowners unable to sell their homes for various reasons want to be able to rent their homes out to “offset upkeep, utility, and property-tax costs.”

The case is being handled by the local chapter of the Institute for Justice, which champions property rights, among other concerns.


Source:  Winona Daily News

| October 26, 2011 More