Rental Department - Licenses and Inspections

How to Secure a Rental License:


Following are the activities associated with securing and maintaining a rental license:

  1. Register the property - apply in person at 317 4th St NW, Bemidji, MN 56601. See applicable documents for Long Term and Short Term Rental Licenses below. PLEASE NOTE: Short Term Rental Licenses are now administered by the City of Bemidji Rental Department. There is a separate application for a Short Term Rental License (see below). If you are not sure which application you need, please contact the City Rental Inspector.
  2. Please refer to the City's fee schedule for applicable rental license fees. 
  3. No new rental unit can be occupied (rented) until it is registered and inspected.
  4. An appointment will be made and an inspection for compliance will be conducted, with deficiencies identified and correction orders issued.
  5. Follow-up inspection(s) will be conducted by the City and additional fees will be imposed for more than two inspections.
  6. Pay the registration fees and any inspection fee(s) as billed. See City Fee Schedule or call the City Rental Inspector.
  7. The Rental License will be issued after compliance is verified by an inspection and the fee(s) are paid. The Rental License is good for two (2) years from the inspection date as long as the annual rental fee(s) are also current. The City Clerk will mail notice of your renewal due.
  8. Prominently display the Rental Certificate of Inspection in the rental or public area of a multiple unit.
  9. Maintain the property in compliance during the term of the permit.
  10. Renew your Rental License 60 days prior to its expiration, December 31, each year. A Building Inspector will normally send a notice of inspection.  Please call if you do not receive a notice of inspection.
  11. The City Building Department must be notified in writing within seventy-two (72) hours after having transferred or otherwise disposed of a rental unit. The new owner or resident agent shall have ten (10) days to re-register (transfer) the units after acquiring them.

This program was initiated in response to the general declining condition of rental properties and the lack of willingness on the part of some rental property owners and tenants to maintain their property or residence in a safe, sanitary condition.

This program is intended to be of benefit to the tenant by providing assurance of safe, sanitary housing; the landlord, by holding the tenant as well as the property owner responsible for compliance; the neighborhoods by elimination of conditions that contribute to blight; and the City at large by improvement of social and economic forces affecting the character and finances of the City.