Rental license tiering

To help ensure safe, quality living conditions and to prioritize our inspections, Regulatory Services uses a tiered system for rental license billing.

Element categories

Property conditions tier

The Property Conditions Tier focuses on the violations we find during an inspection. Properties with a higher property conditions tier will be inspected more frequently and charged a higher fee.

  • Tier 1, Eight-year inspection cycle. Well-maintained, and meets minimum housing code. A property’s tier is determined by looking back at the last two years of data. As a result, properties that have not been inspected or had any issues reported to the City in those two years may be labeled as a Tier 1. If you are wondering if this applies to your rental, you can check the building’s rental license certificate to see the last time inspectors were inside the property. Current issues may not be known to us if this date is more than two years ago.
    • Tier 1 (By Default), Properties that have not had a routine rental license inspection in over five years fall into the 1 (By Default) category. The 1 (By Default) will be noted on your rental license certificate. The fee and inspection cycle are the same as Tier 1.
  • Tier 2, Five-year cycle. Property is well-maintained but has a few documented issues that may have an urgent impact on renter safety and habitability.
  • Tier 3, One-year cycle. Property may be poorly maintained. There are several documented issues, and it is likely that more than one has an urgent impact on renter health and safety.

Property management score

The Property Management Score reflects how long it takes a property owner to comply with rental licensing standards. Multiple repeat inspections, late payments and citations will all count toward a building’s ultimate license fee but will no longer count toward the inspection cycle. This will allow us to focus inspections on the buildings that need them most.

The Property Management Score is added to the Property Conditions Tier to find the Fee Level. The Fee Level is the supplemental fee we add to your bill to get the Total Fee. If your Fee Level is higher than your Property Conditions Tier, it means that unnecessary city resources were spent in making sure that the issues we found were addressed and fixed.

Your property's tier

We believe having easy access to information about the conditions where someone lives and how it’s being managed is important. With this information, renters and property owners can check the status of their property and see what was counted. The full rental license tier scoring data is online at the link below.

View 2024 rental tier scores

Tiering process

  • We look back at the last two years of records at the property.
  • We score eleven different items.
  • Points are assigned to each of the items and are added together to determine the property’s tier and fee level.
  • The scores and tiers are equally applied to the City’s nearly 24,000 rental licenses

Do you have more questions about the tiering process, scores, or billing process?

Determining a property's tier

Life safety violations

The number of code violations issued by Regulatory Services that indicate an urgent health or safety risk to the renter. 



What to look for:

Carbon Monoxide Detectors &

Smoke Detectors

HIS322, F70, HIS320

Make sure all required smoke detectors are operational, and there is a carbon monoxide detector within 10 feet of each bedroom. Test it to make sure they still work and don’t need a new battery.

Combustible Materials

F038, HIS335

Flammable materials need to be secured and stored, and not piling up or accumulating near gas fired appliances.

Corridor Openings - Doors


All doors in any hallway or common area are open and accessible.

Exit (Egress) Stairways


All stairways leading to exits are open, safe, and accessible.

Emergency Lighting Required


Exits must have lighting in the event of a power outage.

Escape Windows

F291, HIS771, HIS772

Each bedroom below the fourth floor must have a window at least or larger than 20 inches wide by 24 inches high. Make sure there isn’t anything blocking the window.

Fire Alarm Systems

F288B, F068

The building needs an alarm system capable of alerting all residents in case of fire, and each apartment must be connected to the alarm.

Fire Extinguishers


Make sure all required fire extinguishers are working and re-filled if needed.

Maintenance Of Extinguishing Systems


Systems must be serviced annually with any required repairs done by a licensed contractor. Keep records of your maintenance

Obstruction Of Exits Prohibited


Make sure all exits are open and not blocked by furniture, trash, or other debris.

Open Gas Line


All gas lines must be capped as required.

Provide Fire Exits


Make sure the building has the required number or fire exits.

Remove Illegal Appliances/Fixtures


Any appliance or item affixed to a ceiling or wall needs to be installed correctly. Applies to all areas of the property. Make sure they are up to code and safe for use.

Repair Or Replace Fire Door


Make sure all required fire doors close and latch on their own and that they are rated to have one hour of fire resistance.

Repair Support System


The structure of the property needs to be sound and not in need of repair. This includes the foundation, beams, footing and joists.

Repair/Remove Illegal/Hazardous Wiring


Make sure all wiring is installed to code. Make there isn’t any exposed or unsafe wiring.

Storage Under Exit Stairways Prohibited


Applies to buildings with four or more units. Storage under stairways needs to be protected by a barrier rated for one hour of fire resistance.

Quality of life violations

The number of code violations that indicate an urgent issue with a direct impact on habitability. Includes lead orders and snow and ice cleanups. 



What to look for:

Dwelling or Garage Open to Trespass


On vacant property, make sure no windows or doors are missing or open to let someone easily get into the building.  This includes the main structure and any garage or shed.

Electrical Violation


All electrical needs to be up to code and safe. Make sure all outlets and switches have covers. All light fixtures should be working. There should be no exposed wiring.

Exterminate Insects/Vermin/Rodents

HIS737, FH737, HIS733

Applies to properties with two or more units. Make sure any pest infestations have been dealt with, and there is not evidence of an active pest problem.

Illegal Bedroom

HIS208, HIS226, HIS223

Rooms that are clearly being used for sleeping should be legal bedrooms. The most common example is using an attic or basement as a bedroom when it is not up to code. Sheds or other detached structures that are being used as bedrooms are also illegal.

Install Or Repair Water Heater


The property’s water heater should be installed as required and working correctly.

Low Heat; MCO 244.430


The system heating the property should be able to maintain a temperature of 68 degrees between October 1st and April 30th.

Over Occupancy


Bedrooms cannot have more people staying in them than is allowed by ordinance.

Plumbing Violation


Plumbing fixtures need to be working as intended. Make sure there are no leaks or hazardous water conditions.

Security Doors


All required security doors to the outside need to close and lock automatically. Make sure your outside doors close and latch completely when you let go of them in the open position.

Unsafe Buildings

F295, F166

Buildings that are unsafe include those that are over-occupied, have fire hazards, don’t have easy ways to exit in case of emergency, or have other hazardous conditions.

Snow/Ice Removal


Snow and ice on public walkways need to be cleared within 24 hours. Apartment buildings and commercial buildings need to be cleared within 4 hours.

Lead Orders


Any order to fix lead safety issues from the Health Department.

Additional code violations

The number of any other housing or fire code violations.

Nuisance violations

The number of violations written for issues like trash, tall grass, and overgrown vegetation, as well as solid waste orders and letters.

Letter of Intent to Condemn for lack of maintenance

The number of letters issued with the intent to condemn a building for the lack of maintenance.


The number of re-inspections conducted by Regulatory Services at a property.

Administrative citations

Fines issued at a property

Delinquent rental license fees

The rental license fee has not been paid by the due date.

Special assessments and authorizations

All outstanding fines or fees issued at a property and work authorizations for unresolved issues like uncut grass or trash cleanups.

Rental license actions

The rental property owner has met with the City to agree upon certain conditions or restrictions for a given rental property or has been ordered by the Court to do so.

License revocation actions

Revocation action has been taken against the property for the violation of rental licensing standards.

Tiering administrative review

If you believe your property was scored incorrectly, please call 311 or 612-673-3000 and ask for an administrative review. Be prepared to provide the element that you believe was scored incorrectly, which can be identified using the view 2024 rental tier scores resource. Administrative reviews are only undertaken if the rental license fee is paid. To ensure all customers are treated equitably, a property’s tier is only changed if the information used to score it is inaccurate.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

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Contact us

Inspections Services Division

Regulatory Services





Public Service Building
505 S. Fourth Ave., Room 510B
Minneapolis, MN 55415