Contact Information

2122 Campus Dr SE Suite 300
Rochester, Mn 55904 (Map)

Phone: 507-328-2600
Fax: 507-328-2601

Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Department Contacts

Rental Housing

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option


 For new landlords--How to Register your property to receive a Rental Certificate:

1. Submit a Rental Property Certificate Application once the property is in your legal possession.

2. Pay the fees

3. Schedule an initial inspection.

4. Complete the Landlord Public Safety requirement with one of the below options.

5. Become a registered landlord on Citizen Access. This will help you track your properties, and provides the option to pay your next bi-ennial fees on line.

Housing Forms and Handouts           


Below are the most requested application forms for residential rental units from the Building Safety Department

Rental Property Certificate Application

Use this form to register a rental property, to add a manager, or to transfer ownership of a rental property.

Request for a Change of Management Company

Registers a new manager or management company of record on one or more rental properties.

Rental Property Owner Update

This form is particularly useful for landlords owning multiple properties who wish to update owner and/or manager information for several addresses, with a single sheet.

Rental Certificate Termination Request

Submitted upon the sale of a rental property to a new owner, or if the current owner will no longer be renting a property and wishes to cancel the Rental Certificate.

Sample Rental Lease Application 

This fillable and customizable form is copyrighted by the Minnesota State Bar Association, and certified by the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General.

Crime Free Lease Addendum 

To be included in all leases, this sample form satisfies the legal requirement for R.C.O. Section 38.152 Subd8.

Inspection Checklist

A comprehensive guide listing items that are checked during an inspection.

Request for Extension of a Correction Order

Requests a temporary extension of time if you have been issued a Notice of Violation, and need more time to complete repairs or make corrections.

Request for Administrative Modification

Requested when there are practical difficulties involved in complying with provisions of the housing code.

Request for Modification of Egress

Used to request an administrative modification of egress window requirements.

Non-Habitable Area Agreement

For use in documenting areas within a rental property not considered habitable areas because of deficiencies/unfinished levels/unusable space and/or violations with the Rochester Code of Ordinances.

Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities

Helpful, informative, and easy to understand booklet from the Office of the MN Attorney General. Also,  Minn. Statute § 504B.181, subd. 2(b) requires landlords to notify tenants that this handbook is available to them.

Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards

For any rental property built before 1978, landlords must disclose the possibility of lead hazards (under 42 U.S.C. 4852(d)) to their tenant(s). This sample form may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Applicable state law and information about the requirements and placements of carbon monoxide alarms.

Smoke Alarms

Applicable state law and information about the requirements and placements of smoke alarms.


Important information about emergency escape, fall protection, and egress requirements for windows.

Rental Housing Picture or Video Submission

Follow this process for submitting pictures or video files, when requested by a Housing Inspector. This process is the only accepted way to submit pictures or videos for inspection.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the "Housing Code of the City of Rochester"?

The Housing Code is made up ordinances adopted by the City Council - Chapter 7 in the Rochester Code of Ordinances (R.C.O.). The Housing Code ordinances were first adopted by the City Council in 1967 because they concluded it was in the best interest of the citizens of Rochester to adopt a code that addresses structures used for dwelling purposes. The Housing Code pertains to all dwellings within the city; including owner occupied. The Code addresses dwellings in the areas of structural integrity, fire safety, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and site conditions. Every dwelling unit must comply with the minimum standards and maintenance standards set forth in the code. The Housing Code is administered and enforced by the Building Safety Department.

Below are direct links to the Housing Code in the Rochester Code of Ordinances:

What is a Rental Housing Certificate? When is one needed?

In R.C.O. Chapter 7-5-1, the Code establishes a requirement for anyone renting a dwelling to another person to obtain a license known as a “rental housing certificate”. A dwelling is considered rental when someone other than the owner, or their relatives, occupies the dwelling whether money is exchanged or not. This includes single family homes when the owner does not occupy the home, but does not include hotels, motels, rooming houses, nursing homes, and hospitals which are licensed by other agencies. Renting without a certificate is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1000 fine, 90 days in jail, or both.
An inspection is completed every two years to check for compliance with the Housing Code. The certificate issued verifies the dwelling is in compliance with the Housing Code and all other applicable codes and is valid for two years. The certificate must be renewed every two years, with the renewal fee based on the number of units to be rented. Rental certificates must be transferred within 30 days after a property is sold.

How do I obtain a "Rental Housing Certificate" for my property?

To obtain a rental housing certificate an application must be submitted to Building Safety. The Community Development Department must review the application for zoning requirements. An on-site inspection is scheduled with a Building Safety Inspector to verify compliance with the Housing Code. If deficiencies are found, the violations must be corrected. When the corrections are completed, a re-inspection is conducted to verify compliance. Once these steps are completed and the Landlord Requirements are met, a certificate is issued for the property.

How do I to renew my "Rental Housing Certificate"?

Once your rental is registered with the city, you will receive notification of renewal fees due and a request for an inspection approximately 90 days before your certificate expires. You must call the Building Safety Department to schedule an inspection before the expiration date, allowing enough time to complete any corrections and re-inspections before the rental housing certificate expires. When the renewal fee has been paid and the inspection approved, the rental housing certificate can be issued. -

How and when do I schedule Inspections of my rental property?

The initial inspections for new rental properties are usually scheduled when applying for a new Rental Housing Certificate. Bi-ennial inspections may be scheduled upon payment of fees, and in advance of your Certificate's expiration date, either over the phone at 507-328-2600 or in person at our office.

Please note that only the owner or manager of record may escort the Housing Inspector through the rental property. 

What is the Rochester Multi-Housing Association?

The Rochester Multi-Housing Association is the trade association for Rochester, Minnesota's apartment and rental housing industry. The members are developers, owners, and managers of apartments or other rental housing.  The association is for owners and managers of rental units in and around the Rochester area.

What is the Minnesota statute regarding carbon monoxide alarms?

The 2006 legislative session passed a new carbon monoxide law.  (MN 299F.50)

Where can I find available apartments in the Rochester area?

The Rochester Apartment Finder website is a search engine to find an apartment based on your needs.  Learn all about Rochester and what it has to offer.  This site also has relocation resources.

How can I submit my picture or video verification of corrections made?

We have an online system to do this, please follow the instructions here.


 Helpful links

Rental Property Owners and Managers can now pay fees on line!!!


It’s easy! First, sign up as a registered user on Citizen Access, search for your rental property, and then click on the link to pay by credit card!

Also, be sure to take advantage of the collections options in Citizen Access to better manage all of your rental properties by grouping them. Click here to get started.

Landlord Public Safety Requirement

Option 1: Landlord Public Safety Seminar

The Rochester City Ordinance Chapter 7-5 Section 7-5-5 requires all landlords or their property managers to complete either a Landlord Public Safety Seminar or the Phase I of the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program.

Once one of these options is completed and submitted, the certification is valid for life and covers all present and future rentals.

The Rochester Police Department offers the Landlord Public Safety Seminar once each year in a classroom setting, typically the second Saturday in April. All new landlords or a designated property manager registering their property between January 1st and April 15th are required to attend this live seminar.

A video version of this class is available on this website from mid-April, 2019 - December 31, 2019 and is offered to new landlords or their designated property manager registering their property during these months.

Attendance of either the live seminar or viewing of the video and successful completion of the exam satisfies Rochester City Ordinance, Chapter 7-5 Section 7-5-5-c(19)

If your property is not currently licensed, please come into our office at 2122 Campus Drive SE (Suite 300) to complete an application and schedule a required inspection to ensure the property is safe for your tenants to occupy and meets legal requirements.

The revised Landlord Public Safety Seminar video class is available in seven parts on-line (SEE BELOW). If the videos below do not play on your device, they can also be found on YouTube on the City of Rochester Building Safety channel.

Once you have watched the seven parts of the video class, please download the exam.

Submit the completed exam to our office along with the fee. The fee for the exam is $50.00. Cash or credit card payments are accepted in the office only. Checks may be mailed in with the completed exam and must be made payable to the City of Rochester.

A passing grade of 70% is required. The fee covers two attempts to pass the exam. Should further attempts be necessary, another $50.00 fee will be due.

Our office will notify you with the test results, usually within 1-2 business days of submission. Your completion certificate will be mailed to you.

Landlord Seminar 2018 Part 1


Landlord Seminar 2018 Part 2


Landlord Seminar 2018 Part 3

Landlord Seminar 2018 Part 4 

Landlord Seminar 2018 Part 5

Landlord Seminar 2018 Part 6


Landlord Seminar 2018 Part 7



Option 2: Phase I of the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program

Option 3: Comparable certificate from a crime free multi-housing program from another jurisdiction

Send submittals to the Building Safety department, to the attention of the Housing Inspection Services Manager for review.

 Crime-Free Multi-Housing Background Check Resources

Credit Bureaus:

Equifax                 1-800-711-5341

Trans-Union         1-800-888-4213

Experian              1-800-397-3742

Criminal Background Checks

Local Records Checks (Olmsted County and the City of Rochester)

5th Floor of the Government Center-Public Terminals  

ASP Screening


7400 Metro Blvd Edina, MN  55439


 Multihousing Credit Control

10125 Crosstown Circle, Suite #100 Eden Prairie, MN  55344


 Rental Research Services

7525 Mitchell Rd, Eden Prairie, MN  55344


 Free Web Searches:


Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)(please read compliance agreement on the web prior to use)





Residential Rental Fee Schedule

The biennial renewal/initial registration fee for rental properties will be $90.00 per structure plus $30.00 per unit for a 2 year rental certificate. There is a one time Zoning fee of $40 at the time of a new rental registration.


Rental Property Owners and Managers can now pay for fees on line.

It’s easy! First, sign up as a registered user on Citizen Access, search for your rental property, and click on the link to pay by credit card!

Also, be sure to take advantage of the collections options in Citizen Access to better manage all of your rental properties by grouping them. Click here to get started.



  Chapter 7-1  In General 
  Chapter 7-2  Minimum Standards
  Chapter 7-3  Dwelling and Apartments
  Chapter 7-4  Condemnation and Removal of Unfit Buildings
  Chapter 7-5  Rental Unit Registration