Minnesota Town Bans Homeowners From Renting Their Homes

Minnesota residents are challenging a new ordinance which prohibits homeowners from renting their own homes. The first-of-its-kind law was enacted in the city of Winona to reportedly thwart “anti-social behavior,” crumbling housing conditions, and curb excessive parking, according to a report by Watchdog Minnesota.

Some residents in the Winona State University town believe the rental property ordinance went too far to accomplish the stated goals. Minnesota homeowners mounting a battle to overturn the ordinance told local media that politicians are surpassing their authority and should not be able to dictate who can rent properties in the town. Property owners Lauren and Ted Dierzbicki cited their empty home with an $800 monthly mortgage as an example of how the ordinance harms property owners.

Institute for Justice attorney Anthony Sanders had this to say about the Minnesota rental property ordinance:

“Our argument is you cannot be denied your right to rent out your perfectly safe house to perfectly safe tenants just because a neighbor of yours has decided to do the same thing. Otherwise the government is just picking and choosing who gets to exercise their property rights.”

Despite the growing opposition to the property restrictions in Winona, local government leaders still back the ordinance. City officials have argued in district court that the entity possesses the authority to establish licensing standards necessary to enhance the community, according to a report in Off The Grid News.

Winona County District Court Judge Jeffrey Thompson had this to say in his ruling:

“There is no indication that the 30 percent rule [rental property percentage] was enacted or conceived as an insidious means of keeping certain constitutionally protected classes of people out of certain neighborhoods or any other improper purpose. It is a good faith attempt to address real problems.”

Ethan Dean purchased a home in Winona to use as a home base for a non-profit for which would aid recovery efforts for soldiers returning home from a tour of duty. While the former US adviser was working in Iraq, he would rent out the space to help cover his monthly mortgage payments. Dean recently received a letter informing him that he was violating the rental property ordinance.

The Winona resident had this to say about the intrusion onto his property rights:

“I am currently on my fourth mission in Iraq. It kills me to defend our freedoms, when my own home is subject to some 1944 Berlin Nazi BS. I don’t care what the city says, they do not own my house … why the h**l do I need their permission?”

What do you think about the rental property ordinance in Winona?

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