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Minnesota cities try to limit rented housing

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Some Minnesota cities have started limiting the number of rentals allowed on each block, to keep houses from turning into rundown rental properties.

West St. Paul has an ordinance that goes into effect Jan. 1, which limits rentals to 10 percent of houses on a block.

Mayor John Zanmiller says the limit will ensure there aren't clusters of rentals in one area, in the face of increasing foreclosures and vacant houses.

The Star Tribune reports college towns like Mankato, Northfield and Winona have also enacted limits.

But Winona homeowners are challenging in court that city's ordinance, which limits rentals to 30 percent of the houses on a block.

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Katelynn McBride, says the caps are unconstitutional and are unique to Minnesota.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.