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Most of us have heard the news.  Evictions in Minnesota have been “suspended” or there is an “eviction moratorium.”  After reading the actual text of Governor Walz’s actual Executive Orders, I believe it is imperative for all landlords and property management companies to learn, understand, and problem-solve the impact of the Executive Orders.  

Non-payment of rent will continue, other breaches of lease will continue, and landlords and property managers will continue to have good faith reasons to terminate a residential lease for a variety of valid, lawful reasons However, the Executive Orders temporarily create a very different world.  One where most lease terminations are not possible and most evictions will not be heard. Landlords and management companies should know and understand in order to problem solve through expected breaches of lease and holdovers past the end of lease term.

If you find this module helpful, please continue with the Covid-19 series which will cover many more critical landlord tenant notices and decisions.  

Applicable Laws

-Governor Walz Executive Orders 20.01 and 20.14

-Chief Justice Lori S. Gildea March 16, 2020 Order, -District Court (County) implementations (See, i.e. Hennepin County 4th Judicial District).

Applicable Timeline:

-Governor Walz’s Executive Orders extend the eviction suspension until April 12, 2020 (Minn. Stat. §12.31 permits the governor to declare an emergency “not to exceed 30 days.)

-Governor Walz may issue another Executive Order extending the peacetime emergency and the eviction suspension, but a majority vote of each house of the Minnesota legislature, the legislature may terminate a peacetime emergency extending beyond 30 days. Minn. Stat. §12.31 subd. 2

Are there exceptions to the eviction suspension?

YES.  Executive Order 20.14 made two specific exceptions:

  1. Tenant seriously endangering the safety of other residents” 
  1. Violations of Minn. Stat.  §504B.171.  
  • Controlled Substances in premises or common area
  • Prostitution or prostitution-related activity 617.80, subdivision 4
  • Unlawful Use or Possession of Firearm in violation of 609.66, subdivision 1a, 609.67, or 624.713
  • Allow stolen property on the premises
  • Possession of controlled substances 

Can I terminate a residential lease and evict for holding over after term of lease ends OR terminate and evict failure to vacate after 14 day Notice to Pay or Quit?

NO.   Executive Order 20-14 prohibits landlords from terminating residential tenancies for holdover after the term of the lease expires during the Emergency and evicting unless the two Executive Order 20-14 exceptions are met.  Holding over is not an exception.  

“because a household remains in the property after a notice of termination of lease, after the termination of the redemption period for a residential foreclosure, after a residential lease has been breached, or after nonpayment of rent

Can I evict if the tenant committed a breach other than non-payment?

YES or NO.  

YES if one the two Executive Order 20-14 exceptions are met.  

“because a household remains in the property after a notice of termination of lease, after the termination of the redemption period for a residential foreclosure, after a residential lease has been breached, or after nonpayment of rent

NO if neither of two Executive Order 20-14 exceptions are met. 

Does Executive Order 20-14 say anything on tenant rent due?

YES.  Executive Order 20-14 states: 

 “Nothing in this Executive Order relieves a tenant’s obligation to pay rent.”  

I recommend landlords and property managers convey this explicit message in quotes to tenants.  

Is there any other controlling guidance on evictions?  

YES.  On March 23, 2020, Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lori S. Gildea issued an order confirming that emergency housing/eviction hearings may be held when there is a: 

“showing of individual or public health or safety at risk, which includes eviction actions alleging a violation of Minn. Stat. 504B.171, subd. 1 (2018).” 

The parties may appear remotely.  Chief Justice Gildea’s Order is in effect for 30 days or until another order is issued, whichever comes first.  

What’s next?  

Stay tuned to Covid-19 topics from Minnesota Landlord Law, PLLC.  Helpful guidance will be released weekly.

Thank you!

Brad Schaeppi

President and CEO of Minnesota Landlord Law, PLLC (legal) and InvestProp, LLC (real estate brokerage)

P.S. Given resources are now very tight, Minnesota Landlord Law, PLLC will now through April 2020, clients and non-clients, a one time, up to 30-minute phone call for only $100.  CLICK HERE TO IMMEDIATELY SCHEDULE AND PAY.

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