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What Minnesota landlords need to know about the eviction moratorium

Throughout most of 2020, an eviction moratorium was in place in Minnesota that prevented landlords from evicting their tenants for failure to pay rent on time. Most people expected this moratorium to end sometime in early 2021. However, Governor Walz issued an executive order extending the moratorium, and could do so again. If you are a landlord in the Minneapolis area, here’s what this means for you.

Does this mean I can’t evict under any circumstances?

No. Even under the extended moratorium, you can still evict tenants for extraordinary circumstances, such as if:

  • The tenant poses a threat to other tenants
  • The tenant is engaging in illegal activity on your property
  • The tenant has significantly damaged your property
  • Your property manager needs to move into the premises

The moratorium simply prohibits you from using the tenant’s failure to pay rent in a timely manner as your justification for evicting them.

What would happen if I evicted anyway?

Your tenant would have a legitimate cause of action against you. They could easily bring a lawsuit against you for violation of the executive order, and you could face legal penalties.

What will my options be once the moratorium ends?

The moratorium does not forgive rent owed. Once the moratorium ends, you will be able to bring legal action against your tenant to collect all of the back rent that they didn’t pay since the moratorium began.

What if I was in the process of evicting when the moratorium began?

The moratorium put any pending eviction actions on hold. When it ends, you will be able to resume the process. If your tenant commits one of the above prohibited actions (such as damaging your property excessively), you could finish the eviction process even during the moratorium.

Being a landlord is a difficult job even under normal circumstances. Executive orders and government mandates complicate your job considerably. Do not hesitate to consult an experienced real estate attorney for assistance with vindicating your rights during and after the moratorium.