Urban Lawyer

Targeted Rental Licensing Programs: A Strategic Overview

by Allison Sloto

Allison Sloto is a joint degree student in her final year at Pace University School of Law ( J.D. and Certificate of Environmental Law) and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental  Studies (Masters of Environmental Management). She is currently a student law associate at Cuddy & Feder LLP, working in the Land Use and Zoning Practice Group. She would like to thank Jessica Bacher, Executive Director of the Pace Land Use Law Center, for her expert guidance in the preparation of this article.

Across the United States, local governments are experiencing difficulties in ensuring a sufficient stock of safe, well-operated, and well-maintained rental housing. This is especially  so  for  municipalities that struggle with social and economic distress. After the 2008 mortgage crisis, widespread foreclosures left many  single-family homes vacant and falling  into  disrepair.1  At  the  same  time,  the  cost of renting in many cities has sharply increased, leaving low-income residents with few alternatives but to live in substandard housing conditions.2 Although many landlords have continued  to  responsibly maintain their rental properties, this  confluence  of  socioeconomic  events has unfortunately exacerbated the  problems  caused  by  those  who do not.

Local governments, using their delegated powers to regulate property for the health, safety, and welfare of their residents, can ensure that all landlords maintain their properties in a safe and responsible manner.3 The means for municipalities to accomplish this is through the municipal regulatory framework, the “sum of the ordinances, administrative systems, and  operating  practices  the municipality uses to foster responsible landlord behavior and sound, well-managed rental housing in the community.”4 The goal of enacting such regulations is not to eliminate or punish landlords, but rather is to heighten the quality of rental housing stock in the community as well as ensure that landlords are responsible managers of safe and healthy properties. It is useful for municipalities to reimagine the traditionally-held view of renting as a type of residential use. Communities should instead consider rental properties through a business-oriented lens, with the concept of a rental license being analogous to a license to do business. Just as businesses are required to pass health and safety inspections in order to maintain standards, so too should rental properties have a license requirement, in order to assure housing quality within the community. This article will explain how a targeted, or “performance-based” rental license system is the most resource- conserving and effective means for municipalities to regulate the rental property business.

I.  What Is a Residential Rental License Program?

Generally, a residential rental-licensing program is put in place by a local government to require property owners to apply for and obtain  a rental license prior to leasing their properties.5 The principal function of such a program is to protect and promote the health, safety,  and welfare of tenants and to prevent the deterioration of housing stock by enforcing property maintenance codes.6 The program requires property owners to submit an application to obtain a rental license.7 The city or town then inspects the property prior to approving the application. There are three different types of rental licensing programs: (1) no licensing, (2) universal rental licensing, and (3) targeted rental licensing.8  Municipalities operating with no licensing  program must rely on building inspectors and the court system to assess fines for problem properties.9

Under a universal rental licensing scheme, on the other hand, all owners of rental properties must annually re-apply for a license, pay associated fees, and undergo an inspection.10 This is the case no matter how compliant the landlord was in terms of maintenance and safety. There is no landlord rating system upon which to base the renewal of the license.11 The primary benefit of the universal rental licensing scheme is that it guarantees all rental units are subjected to annual inspections and license renewals, precluding the possibility of code violations.12 On the other hand, mandating that all landlords meet the same requirements, regardless of their record of compliance, provides no real incentives for landlords to improve the standard of their property. For example, the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, uses a universal rental licensing program, which only encompasses certain portions of the City that are of particular concern (in terms of housing quality/ crime).13 However, the City does run a landlord training program to encourage property maintenance and lower crime rates.14 Similarly, Raleigh, North Carolina has targeted their “bad apple” landlords by adopting a Probationary Rental Occupancy Permit ordinance, which requires repeat offender landlords to obtain a two-year Probationary Rental Occupancy Permit (PROP).15 A landlord in the PROP program is required to pay $500/ year for the two-year permit to cover the cost of program administration, and is further required to attend a residential property management training program during the first year of the permit.16

The third type is the  targeted  rental  license,  also  known  as  a “performance-based” license.17 Unlike a universal rental license program, the targeted rental license program is not a one-size-fits-all scheme. Properties are categorized based on the number of code  violations (and in some municipalities, by the amount of criminal activity), in order to distinguish compliant from non-compliant property owners.18 The City of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota is a leading example of a locality that has implemented a robust, comprehensive targeted rental license program.19 The program designates properties as belonging to one of four different rental license categories based on the condition of the property and number of nuisance calls.20 The better the landlord’s practices, the lower the rental licensing fees and inspection requirements.21 Conversely, noncompliant landlords are required to obtain a license type that imposes more onerous standards.22 Elements of Brooklyn Center’s program will be referenced throughout this article.

II.  Benefits of a Targeted Rental License Program

Through a targeted rental license program, cooperative property owners are rewarded based on their continuing record of compliance (zero or few code violations and instances of criminal activity), with incentives such as paying reduced licensing fees and undergoing less frequent property inspections.23 On the other hand, non-compliant property owners with recurring code violations and criminal activities carried out on their properties are subject to more frequent application renewals and inspections, as well as higher fees.24

One essential benefit of the targeted rental license program is that it allows localities to concentrate their resources where they will be most effective.25 For example, when a locality knows which landlords are responsible and have a low risk of violations, versus those that are poorly maintained, it is able to save time and personnel resources by concentrating inspections on those properties that present recurring issues.26 This is critical for municipalities with extreme time and resource constraints that are also faced with a large amount of substandard housing stock.

One way a targeted rental license program can decrease criminal activity on problem properties is by incorporating the Crime-Free Housing Program into the targeted rental license ordinance, thereby reducing the level of criminal activity in rental units.27 An increasing number of communities have chosen to incorporate this program into their licensing systems after the 2008 mortgage crisis, as a means to address the scavengers, squatters, and gangs perpetuating criminal activities in vacant homes.28 The program trains law enforcement agency coordinators, who then train landlords and certify properties in their respective cities.29 Implementation of the program relies on the inclusion of a crime-free addendum to the leases for all residential properties.30 Benefits of the program include reduced police calls, the creation of a more stable resident base, and the reduction of potential civil liability.31

There are three phases to the Crime-Free Housing Program.32 Phase I consists of an eight-hour property manager/ owner training.33 Phase II is a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Survey (CPTED) conducted by police on the property.34 Phase III is the “crime free commitment,” where landlords pledge in a written commitment to screen tenants, conduct regular property check-ins, and otherwise put forth their best efforts to keep their property free from crime.35

Figure 1: Phases of the Crime-Free Housing Program, Brooklyn Center, Minn.36

Phase I (required for Type II, III, and IV rental licenses)
For license categories other than Type I, an owner, manager, or local agent responsible for the operation of the rental property must complete the Phase I training of the Crime Free Housing Program or a similar course approved by the City Manager. Certification as a rental property manager may also satisfy this requirement. Phase I includes the following:

•   Attend an eight-hour crime-free housing course presented by police, fire, public housing and others.
•   Use a written lease including the Minnesota Crime Free Housing Lease Addendum.
•   Check the criminal background of all prospective tenants and, upon request, provide a copy of Third Party Background Check procedures for Tenants.
•   Actively pursue the eviction of tenants who violate the terms of the lease and/  or the Crime Free Lease Addendum.

Phase II (required for Type III and IV rental licenses)

Includes Phase I plus the following
:
•  Complete a Security Assessment and complete the security improvements recommended. This phase will certify that the rental property has met the security requirements for the tenant’s safety.
•  Attend a minimum of 25 percent of Owners/ Managers Association Meetings.

Phase III (required for Type IV rental licenses)

Includes Phases I and II plus the following
:
•  For properties with more than four units, conduct resident training annually for the residents where crime watch and crime prevention techniques are discussed.
•  For properties with more than four units, hold regular resident meetings.
•   Attend a minimum of 50 percent of Owners/ Managers Association Meetings.
•   Have no City Code violations that were not resolved in accordance with compliance orders within the past year.

Other initiatives dovetail nicely with the implementation of a targeted rental license ordinance. Landlord education programs can be offered in the community and mandated as a requirement for landlords who repeatedly violate the terms of the ordinance.37 For example, the state of Utah authorizes municipalities to establish Good Landlord Programs38 (where landlords who responsibly maintain their properties are entitled to reductions in rental license fees). As a result, the City of Ogden, Utah, operates a Good Landlord Program that provides financial incentives for landlords who demonstrate reductions in crime and code violations.39

Further, it is also true that tenants, and not just landlords, can contribute to problems associated with rental properties. To encourage tenant cooperation, municipalities can supplement rental license laws with initiatives that establish a community-wide dialogue about safe, decent rental housing.40 Additionally, localities can implement education and training programs for tenants and landlords; provide mediation facilities for landlord-tenant disputes; create a landlord-tenant forum that helps all parties move past the frustrations and misperceptions among these groups; engage the court in this process because of its central role in both evictions and code enforcement actions; involve the county department of social services in regular dialogue to better understand provisions for rental housing assistance and ensure accountability in maintenance of rental units in a safe and inhabitable condition; explore the healthy homes and housing movement that advocates for local partnerships that address the substandard livings conditions of many urban neighborhoods, which affect minority and low income households;41 and work closely with landlord associations to develop model lease agreements with stated property maintenance responsibilities for both landlords and tenants.42

III.  Understanding The Municipal Regulatory Framework and Elements of a Successful Targeted Rental License Program

A successful municipal regulatory framework for a targeted rental license system consists of the municipality’s ordinance, as well as enforcement mechanisms and a rental property information system. Elements of a successful program include: a landlord registration and/  or licensing ordinance; mechanisms to enforce the registration/ licensing system; a rental property information system; strategic code enforcement; and a compliance-oriented fee structure.43

A.   Comprehensive Registration System

At the very minimum, landlords should be required to register in a municipally-run registration system. This information can be used to create a rental property information system — a database of rental properties in the community containing information about code violations, police calls, and tax/ fee payment status — which would allow municipalities to quickly target problem properties and efficiently use their resources to remedy the issue. To inform landlords about the registration requirement, municipalities can employ mass mailings,44 transaction-based mailings,45 and citizen reporting.46 For best results, this registration system should be updated frequently. The City of Brooklyn Center, MN releases monthly reports of the registered rental properties, “which contain the addresses and owners of the properties that have been issued a rental license.”47  Cincinnati, Ohio, in response to widespread issues with poorly-managed apartment buildings and other rental properties, has also passed a nuisance ordinance “that allows city officials to track properties based on police runs, crimes and code violations.”48

B.   Targeted License System: Categories and Criteria

The municipality should then take the next step and implement a true targeted license system, which requires not only landlord registration, but also imposes conditions to meet health and safety inspections. For example, the City of Brooklyn Center, MN has implemented a targeted rental license scheme that classifies rental properties into four different categories based on level of compliance.49 Level of compliance is determined based on criteria including the number of property code and nuisance violations and the number/ rate of police calls.50 Type I licenses are issued for three years and require a minimum of one inspection every three years; Phase I of the Crime-Free Housing Program is recommended.51 Type II licenses are issued for two years and require a minimum of one inspection every two years, and Phase I of the Crime-Free Housing Program is required.52 Type III licenses are issued for one year and require a minimum of one inspection every year; Phases I and II of the Crime-Free Housing Program are required.53 Type IV provisional licenses are issued for six months and require a minimum of one inspection every six months, and Phases I, II and III of the Crime-Free Housing Program are required.54

Figure 2: Licensed Property Requirements, Brooklyn Center, Minn.55

C.  Appropriate Enforcement Mechanisms

Enforcement mechanisms are needed to make sure that the landlord complies with the registration/licensing ordinance. And, this code enforcement should be approached strategically; proactive, targeted enforcement that is part of a municipal action plan to bring properties into compliance is much more effective than a complaint-driven scheme, where enforcement is reactive.56 Further, it is important to  distinguish between two distinct noncompliance situations when considering appropriate enforcement actions: first, where the landlord has failed to comply with the requirements of the ordinance, such as non-payment of fees (but the property itself is in habitable condition); and second, where the property is in such condition that it is unsafe or unhealthy for occupation by residents.57

The City Code of Brooklyn Center lays out the grounds upon which a license may be suspended or revoked for noncompliance,58 and further provides enforcement mechanisms to give the ordinance teeth.59 If the landlord engages in any of the actions listed in Figure 3, the City can then, after notification and a hearing, suspend, revoke, deny, or choose to not renew a license.60 If a license has been suspended, the landlord may not re-let any portion of the premises until he or she is in compliance.61 Further, a landlord who has had his or her license revoked may not obtain any new licenses for any rental property in the City for one year from the date of revocation.62

Sections 12-1001 and 12-1002 identify the City Manager as the Compliance Official and grant the authority to conduct inspections.63 When the Compliance Official determines that the premises do not meet the requirements of the Code, a compliance order is issued to  the property owner, which sets forth the violations and mandates correction of the violations.64 The Code further provides: “Violations may be cited by the City and prosecuted, and license suspension, revocation or non-renewal may be undertaken by the City whether or not a compliance order has been issued.”65 The City prohibits any

Figure 3: City of Brooklyn Center, Minn. Code § 12-910(3).

§ 12-910(3). Grounds for License Action.
The Council may revoke, suspend, or decline to renew any license issued under this Chapter upon any of the following grounds:
a.  False statements, misrepresentations, or fraudulent statements on any application or other information or report required by this Chapter to be given by the applicant or licensee.
b.  Failure to pay any application fee, fine or penalty, reinspection fees, reinstatement fee, special assessments, real estate taxes, or other financial claims due to the City as required by this Chapter and City Council resolution.
c.  Failure to continuously comply with any property maintenance, zoning, health, building, nuisance, or other City Codes; or failure to correct deficiencies noted in Compliance Notices in the time specified in the ordinance.
d.  Failure to comply with the provisions of an approved mitigation plan or not submitting an action plan as required.
e.  Failure to qualify for the type of license held or applied for.
f.  Excessive police calls for service in accordance with criteria determined by the City Manager and approved by the City Council, based on the number and nature of the calls when, after owner notification, the owner has failed to supply an appropriate written action plan to reduce the police calls for service.
g.  Failure to actively pursue the eviction of tenants who have violated the provision of this Chapter or Crime Free Lease Addendum or have otherwise created a public nuisance in violation of City, state, or applicable laws.
h.  The failure to eliminate imminent health and safety hazards as determined by the City, or its authorized representatives.
i.  Conviction of any crime related to the business or entity licensed and failure to show by competent evidence the rehabilitation and ability to perform the duties of the business.
j.  The abandonment of property by the property owner as determined by the inability to make contact with the owner or his/ her manager or local agent due to inaccurate or invalid contact information.
k.  Failure to operate or maintain the licensed premises in conformity with all applicable state and local laws and Ordinances.

property sale, transfer, mortgage, lease, or other disposal to another person for any property with a pending compliance order, and anyone who secures an interest in a property with a pending compliance order becomes bound by the terms of that order.66 If the property owner fails to act on the compliance order within the specified time frame, the City also reserves the right to enter the property and correct the violations, with the costs to be levied against the property as a lien, which may be collected by a special assessment.67 The Code also includes robust penalty provisions, as illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 4. City of Brooklyn Center, Minn., Example Enforcement and Penalty Provisions68

§ 12-1205. Failure to Correct Compliance Orders.
Any person who fails to comply with a compliance order or any person who fails to comply with a modified compliance order within the time set therein, upon conviction thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable in accordance with state law. Nothing in this Chapter however is deemed to limit other remedies or civil penalties available to the City under this Code or state law. Each day of such failure to comply shall constitute a separate and punishable offense.

§ 12-1301. Alternative Sanctions.
Notwithstanding the availability of the foregoing compliance procedures and the penalties, whenever the Compliance Official determines that any building, or portion thereof, is or the premises surrounding any of these fails to meet the requirements set forth in this Chapter, the Compliance Official may issue a violation tag summoning the responsible person into court or request the issuance of a criminal complaint and arrest warrant.

§ 12-1302. Penalties.
Any person or responsible party who violates Sections 12-101 through 12-1402 is subject to the penalty provided under 12-1205 of this Code. Nothing in this Chapter however is deemed to limit other remedies or civil penalties available to the City under this Code or state law. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate punishable offense. No provision of this Chapter designating the duties of any official or employee of the City shall be so construed as to make such official or employee liable for the penalty provided in this Section because of failure to perform such duty, unless the intention of the City Council to impose such penalty on such official or employee is specifically and clearly expressed in the Section creating the duty.

D.  Compliance-Oriented Fee Structure

Finally, a compliance-oriented fee structure is key for a successful targeted licensing scheme, which rewards good landlords and punishes bad ones by reducing the fees required to be paid by good landlords. Fees should be focused on attaining maximum landlord compliance by rewarding responsible landlords, and should not be seen as a revenue stream.69 Brooklyn Center, MN is an excellent ex- ample of a compliance-oriented fee structure.70

Figure 5. License Type and Associated Fees, Brooklyn Center, Minn.71

IV.  Conclusion

Despite the slow but steady upward climb of the nation’s economy out of 2008’s Great Recession and mortgage crisis, localities across the country continue to face the repercussions of the crash. Municipalities struggling with substandard rental housing conditions, high crime rates, and negligent, absent, or criminal landlords are best served in terms of both efficiency and success rates by the implementation of  a targeted, or “performance-based” rental license program. This type of system allows time- and cash-strapped localities to focus their resources on the worst offenders, resulting in a vastly superior outcome to having either a universal license system or no system in place at all. Critical components of this system include a landlord registration and/ or licensing ordinance; mechanisms to enforce the registration/ licensing system; a rental property information system; strategic code enforcement; and a compliance-oriented fee structure. With the successful implementation of this scheme, such as has been done in the City of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, municipalities can successfully reduce property code violations and crime rates and further their goals of promoting the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens.

Entity:
Topic:
  1. See, e.g., Chris Isidore, Homes in Foreclosure Top 1 Million, CNNMONEY (June 5, 2008, 2:09 PM), http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/05/news/economy/foreclosure/?postversion=2008060514.
  2. For example, Cincinnati, Ohio, neighborhoods are plagued by landlords whose lack of property maintenance has led to extremely poor conditions. See Dan Monk et al., Cincinnati Neighborhoods Threatened by Badly-Managed Apartment Buildings ‘A Cancer Metastasizing’, WCPO CINCINNATI (Feb. 4, 2016, 12:54 PM), http://www. wcpo.com/news/insider/problem-propertiescincinnati-neighborhoods-threatened-by-badly-managed-apartment-buildings. A recent study has projected that that the number of households spending 50 percent or more of their income on rent is expected to rise at least “11 percent from 11.8 million in 2015 to 13.1 million in 2025”. At a time when rents are rising, incomes are stagnating and homeownership rates are declining, the number of renters facing affordability challenges has increased significantly. JOINT CTR. FOR HOUS. STUDIES, HARVARD UNIV., PROJECTING TRENDS IN SEVERELY COSTBURDENED RENTERS: 2015-2025, at 6, 11 (2015), http://www.enterprisecommunity. com/resources/ENT_ERC_MultiMedia_Stats?ID=a9J140000008cehEAA&redirectURL=https://s3.amazonaws.com/KSPProd/ERC_Upload/0100886.pdf.
  3. See ALAN MALLACH, CTR. FOR CMTY. PROGRESS, RAISING THE BAR: A SHORT GUIDE TO LANDLORD INCENTIVES AND RENTAL PROPERTY REGULATION (2015) [hereinafter RAISING THE BAR], https://www.metroplanning.org/uploads/cms/documents/raising-the-bar.pdf.
  4. Id. at 3.
  5. See SILVANA HACKETT, CTR. FOR URBAN AND REG’L AFFAIRS, UNIV. OF MINN., RENTAL LICENSING TO ACHIEVE COMPLIANCE (2012), http://www.ci.roseville.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/11028.
  6. See RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 4.
  7. See HACKETT, supra note 5, at 2, 11.
  8. See id. at 16-18.
  9. Id. at 16.
  10. See id. at 17, 26.
  11. See id. at 14, 17, 26.
  12. See id.; see also RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 4, 7.
  13. See Residential Rental Inspection (RRI) Program, DEP’T OF NEIGHBORHOOD SERS. , CITY OF MILWAUKEE, WIS. , http://city.milwaukee.gov/DNS/RRI#.VskAeMcnhCc (last updated Mar. 15, 2016).
  14. See Landlord Training Program, DEP’T OF NEIGHBORHOOD SERS., CITY OF MILWAUKEE, WIS., http://city.milwaukee.gov/Landlordtraining#.VTEHWLktGUk (last updated Apr. 12, 2016).
  15. Tool 4: Finding and Targeting “Bad Apples”, CTR. FOR COMMUNITY PROGRESS, http://www.communityprogress.net/tool-4–finding-targeting–bad-apples–pages-210.php (last visited Apr, 10, 2016).
  16. Id.
  17. ALAN MALLACH, CTR. FOR CMTY. PROGRESS, DRAFTING RENTAL REGULATION ORDINANCES IN ILLINOIS MUNICIPALITIES: A SHORT GUIDE FOR LOCAL OFFICIALS 3 (2015), http://mayorscaucus.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/10/rental-license-ordinance-guide_FINAL-FOR-WEBSITE.pdf.
  18. See, e.g., BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., CODE §§ 12-901 to 12-1302, http://bc-img.ci.brooklyn-center.mn.us/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=350250&dbid=0.
  19. Id.
  20. Id. § 12-901; Rental Dwelling Licensing Program, CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN. (Apr. 10, 2015), http://www.cityofbrooklyncenter.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/277.
  21. See Rental Dwellings, CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., http://www.cityofbrooklyncenter.org/index.aspx?nid=316 (last visited Feb. 24, 2016).
  22. Id.
  23. See Tool 6: Good Landlord Incentives, CTR. FOR COMMUNITY PROGRESS, http://www.communityprogress.net/tool-6–good-landlord-incentives-pages-212.php (last visited Feb. 25, 2016).
  24. Id.
  25. RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 13; see also Tool 4: Finding and Targeting “Bad Apples”, supra note 15.
  26. See RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 13.
  27. Crime Free Rental Housing, INT’L CRIME FREE ASS’N, http://www.crime- free-association.org/rental_housing.htm (last visited Apr. 10, 2016).
  28. See, e.g., Lauren Zumbach, Orland Trustees Back Continuing Crime Free Rental Housing Program, CHI. TRIB. (Dec. 5, 2014, 7:14 PM), http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/orland-park-homer-glen/ct-orland-crime-free-extension-tl-ssw-20141205-story.html.
  29. See Crime Free Certified Trainer, INT’L CRIME FREE ASS’N, http://www.crime-free-association.org/trainer_certification.htm (last visited May 17, 2016).
  30. Crime Free Programs: A Brief History, INT’L CRIME FREE ASS’N, http://www. crime-free-association.org/history.htm (last visited May 17, 2016); see also BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., CODE § 12-915.
  31. Crime Free Rental Housing, supra note 27.
  32. Id.
  33. Id.
  34. Id.
  35. Id.
  36. CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN. CODE § 12-914; Crime Free Housing Program, CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., http://www.cityofbrooklyncenter.org/index.aspx?NID=608 (last visited Apr. 10, 2016).
  37. See, e.g., What Is the Good Landlord Program, UTAH HOUSING COALITION (Apr. 19, 2011), http://www.utahhousing.org/public-policy/item/download/93_25c264a957b4dcf44479226eec6154b3.
  38. Id.
  39. The Good Landlord Program, OGDEN UTAH, http://www.ogdencity.com/en/doing_business/business_licensing/good_landlord.aspx (last visited May 17, 2016).
  40. RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 16.
  41. See generally Who We Are, THE NAT’L CTR. FOR HEALTHY HOUSING (last visited May 17, 2016), http://www.nchh.org/who-we-are.aspx.
  42. See RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 15-16.
  43. Id. at 3-4.
  44. Id. at 7-8.
  45. Id. at 8-9.
  46. Id. at 9.
  47. Licensed Rental Properties, CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., http://www.cityofbrooklyncenter.org/index.aspx?NID=283 (last visited Apr. 10, 2016).
  48. Monk et al., supra note 2.
  49. CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN. CODE § 12-901(7); see also Rental License Category Criteria Policy, CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN. (Mar. 8, 2010), http://www.cityofbrooklyncenter.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/118. It is important to note that the City has excepted from their police call count those made by “family members” such as would indicate a domestic violence situation. Id. This avoids the unfortunate consequence of some localities’ nuisance-based property compliance systems (which punish landlords for having crimes occur on the property without any exceptions for domestic violence situations), resulting in renters who are victims of abuse being inadvertently penalized with eviction for calling the police for help. See I Am Not a Nuisance: Local Ordinances Punish Victims of Crime, AM. CIV. LIBERTIES UNION, https://www.aclu.org/i-am-not-nuisance-local-ordinances-punish-victims-crime (last visited Apr. 10, 2016).
  50. § 12-901(7).
  51. License Categories/Types, CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., http://www.cityofbrooklyncenter.org/index.aspx?NID=237 (last visited Apr. 10, 2016).
  52. Id.
  53. Id.
  54. Id.
  55. Id.
  56. RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 4.
  57. See id. at 4, 20.
  58. CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN. CODE § 12-910(3).
  59. Id. § 12-911.
  60. Id. § 12-910(5), (7).
  61. Id. § 12-910(8).
  62. Id. § 12-910(9).
  63. Id. §§ 12-1001, 12-1002.
  64. Id. § 12-1201(A).
  65. Id.
  66. Id. § 12-1204.
  67. Id. § 12-1206.
  68. Id. §§ 12-1205, 12-1301, 12-1302.
  69. RAISING THE BAR, supra note 3, at 4. But cf. Sarah Treuhaft et al., When Investors Buy Up the Neighborhood: Preventing Investor Ownership from Causing Neighborhood Decline, 23 COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS 19, 22 (2011) (providing the City of Phoenix, Arizona, as an example of a municipality which uses a license scheme, “a privilege (sales) tax license,” for the purpose of providing revenue to the City).
  70. CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., CODE § 12-902.
  71. Id. § 12-901(2) diagram 1; see also License Fees, CITY OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN., http://www.cityofbrooklyncenter.org/index.aspx?NID=421 (last visited Apr. 10, 2016).