Firm Insights

New Landlord Licensing Requirements in St. Louis County

On December 31, 2015, St. Louis County Ordinance 26,211, the “Residential Rental Property Licensing Code,” (the “Code”) will become effective.

Note the following important limitations:  The Code applies only in unincorporated parts of St. Louis County, and to owners of residential dwellings of four units or less.

Residential Rental Property Licensing Code

The Code requires that the owner apply annually for a license, to be approved by the Director of the Department of Transportation and Public Works (“Director”), prior to rental of any units.  For property acquired after an initial application, the owner must complete a supplement to the prior application prior to permitting any occupancy or offering the property for rent.

The Code allows for exemptions, upon request, for occupancy by persons of certain relation to the owner (per the Code, “within the second degree of consanguinity”), or if the property is leased by a business entity, to an individual with an ownership interest in the business entity.


The Director may not approve an application unless all outstanding fines imposed by the St. Louis County Municipal Court are paid in full.  The Director may suspend or revoke an approved license based upon certain criteria outlined in the Code.  The Director may notify the owner if an occupant is convicted of or pleads guilty to certain felony charges which occurred in the unit, including those related to illegal drugs and other controlled substances, illegal firearms and other weapons, prostitution, illegal gambling and illegal sales, distribution and consumption of alcohol.


Upon such notice, the owner must initiate eviction proceedings against the occupant within 30 days or else be subject to license suspension or revocation.  The Code provides a procedure for appeal of suspensions or revocations.  For a conviction of any violation, the Code provides for penalties up to a fine of $1,000.00 and imprisonment of up to one year in St. Louis County jail.  The Code specifies that each day of occupancy in violation of any provision constitutes a separate violation.

For a copy of the Ordinance, please click here and enter “Ordinance 26.211”.

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