When Renting Out Your Own Property Means You Have to Pay

Cities nationwide are cracking down on homeowners renting out parts of their property to others. IJ Senior Attorney Anthony Sanders was quoted in a Fox News report on the trend:

“This is about the ancient right to be left alone,” Institute for Justice attorney Anthony Sanders told Fox News. “Regulations on rental properties are allowed, but to completely prohibit someone from renting out their property to another law-abiding citizen? There are huge constitutional problems with that.”

The report made reference to IJ’s case in Winona, Minn., where Ethan Dean, who was serving in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, was harassed by city officials for renting his home out while he was overseas:

He then learned officials in Winona imposed a restriction on the number of homeowners who can rent out properties in specific neighborhoods. According to Dean, Winona explained a “30 Percent Rule” — allowing only 30 percent of homes in a neighborhood to be rentals. Dean’s block was 78 percent rental properties when the ban was enacted, but his neighbor’s permits were apparently grandfathered in.

“They told me I had to kick the kids out of my house, and if I didn’t, I’d be fined $450 a day,” Dean said. “But I let the kids stay there another six months. The emails continued to come to me in Iraq.”

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