Proposed St Louis County Residential Rental Property Licensing Is Property Rights Issue

UPDATE – October 7, 2015:
Thanks to Councilman Kevin O’Leary’s unexpected call for a vote on the bill at last nights St Louis County Council meeting, as well as the votes cast against the bill by Council members Kevin O’Leary, Mark Harder, Colleen Basinger and Hazel Erby, the Residential Rental Property Licensing Code bill died last night in a 4 to 3 vote defeating it.  The council members that voted in favor of enacting the bill into an ordinance were Council members Michael O’Mara, Dr. Sam Page and Pat Dolan.

It’s probably not over.  Remember, last year the council was close to passing a similar bill and then took another shot at it this year.  I firmly believe Councilman O’Mara will be back with this bill or a very similar one once the dust settles so be on the look out!

Last April I wrote an article about a bill in St Louis County introduced by Councilman Michael O’Mara which me, and a whole lot of other people and groups with interest in preserving private property rights, thought would trample on those rights.  Fortunately, as I later reported, the St Louis County Council chose not to move forward with the bill at that time.  However, St Louis County Councilman Michael O’Mara is back at it with a new proposed ordinance, Bill No. 204, which is pretty much the same as last years version.

St Louis County Bill No. 204 (known as the “Residential Rental Property Licensing Code“), like the similar Bill No. 73 last year, has met resistance again by people and organizations that feel the proposed legislation violates private property rights of property owners and may even be discriminatory.  In a letter to Chairman Pat Dolan, and the members of the St louis County Council, Willie Jordan,  Executive Director, and Zachary Schmook, Managing Attorney, for the Metropolitan St Louis Equal Housing & Opportunity Council (EHOC) stated the proposed bill “will have substantial negative, and potentially discriminatory, effects for tenants and vulnerable populations in St Louis County.”  The EHOC letter goes on to cite six areas of major concern they have with the bill, many of which are the same, or similar, concerns I expressed last year in my article written when the legislation surfaced the first time.

Click Here to read the current version of the proposed Residential Rental Property Licensing Code

If you would like to voice your opinion on this bill, I would suggest contacting the bills sponsor, St Louis County Councilman Michael O’Mara as soon as possible.  You can contact him through the St Louis County Council website here or you can email him at or call him at 314.615.5439.


Which St Louis County Council members ARE and ARE NOT supporting this legislation?  A the August 25, 2015 meeting of the St Louis County Council a vote was taken to “prefect” the bill and four of the council members voted in favor of this legislation and 3 against it.  The members are listed below:

Voted in favor of this legislation:

  • Dr. Sam Page
  • Michael O’Mara
  • Pat Dolan
  • Kevin O’Leary

Voted against this legislation;

  • Mark Harder
  • Colleen Wasinger
  • Hazel Erby
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