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How far is too far when it comes to landlords and tenants during pandemic?

Landlord sends aggressive messages to tenants

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 9:42 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2020 7:20 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester's Opportunity Realty LLC is a property management operation with a lot of tenants.

On April 1, long before anyone's rent could be considered late, the company's Brenda Thomas Lipkie sent out a missive to tenants that said in part, "Tenants must still pay their rent on or before the first. Tenants that usually drop rents off will need to contact me or pay through portal to prevent 8% late fee. Tenants that haven't paid or contacted me, I will be stopping at unit on April 2nd."

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An Opportunity Realty tenant who spoke with KIMT News 3 said she was intimidated by the message. "I'm not behind on my rent and their messages are just awful. They give me anxiety I don't need at this time," she said in a text message.

As the Covid-19 pandemic worsened, Brenda Thomas Lipkie followed up with another message. Like the earlier missive, the second contained bold white lettering on a black background. "Opportunity Realty LLC and owners have be (sic) notified that people are now receiving their stimulus checks to help pay towards their rent, utilities and food as a reminder monthly rent is due on or before the first of the month."

We showed both messages to Rochester City Council member Michael Wojcik who didn't hesitate to offer advice to the realtor.

"There is no law against being a difficult person, or obnoxious or just plain rotten," Wojcik said during a FaceTime call. "That's part of how our capitalist society works, but I think you'll find that how you handle these situations in the interim when people are truly going through great challenges will speak volumes to how successful you are on the other end of this."

KIMT News 3 has made frequent calls to Brenda Thomas Lipkie beginning in early April and continuing until April 17th. None of those calls has been returned.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485230

Reported Deaths: 6554
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1006801585
Ramsey43047801
Dakota36254390
Anoka33274384
Washington22065255
Stearns18723201
St. Louis14794262
Scott13273107
Wright12517115
Olmsted1177988
Sherburne871572
Carver771040
Clay690387
Rice670091
Blue Earth593835
Kandiyohi579474
Crow Wing519681
Chisago498445
Otter Tail481870
Benton446190
Winona418049
Mower404131
Douglas392568
Nobles386847
Goodhue385568
Polk342762
McLeod339349
Beltrami337351
Morrison324247
Lyon313044
Itasca312746
Becker310941
Isanti305754
Carlton300149
Steele299711
Pine282016
Freeborn280523
Nicollet258141
Todd247830
Brown244637
Le Sueur235020
Mille Lacs227247
Cass219924
Waseca208917
Meeker207434
Martin189328
Wabasha18623
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15214
Renville149540
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134116
Wadena130920
Faribault122917
Aitkin118933
Sibley117310
Watonwan11728
Rock115714
Kanabec107419
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9438
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8025
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake73718
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68316
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Unassigned47968
Norman4768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40821
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362189

Reported Deaths: 5414
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58146549
Linn20653312
Scott18288207
Black Hawk16249291
Woodbury14961211
Johnson1383473
Dubuque13537194
Dallas1135890
Pottawattamie10765143
Story1021645
Warren555274
Clinton543284
Cerro Gordo533681
Webster518787
Marshall496272
Sioux494369
Buena Vista473236
Des Moines457661
Muscatine451191
Wapello4330108
Jasper416966
Plymouth394577
Lee375352
Marion359069
Jones294154
Henry292737
Carroll285548
Bremer280154
Crawford274735
Boone259630
Washington254147
Benton252854
Mahaska224346
Jackson221438
Dickinson217439
Tama213465
Kossuth208154
Clay193525
Hamilton192042
Delaware188839
Winneshiek188427
Buchanan185129
Fayette185035
Page183219
Hardin181039
Wright179731
Harrison179669
Cedar177923
Clayton168053
Butler166331
Mills163120
Floyd162740
Madison154518
Cherokee153935
Poweshiek153730
Hancock146829
Lyon145841
Allamakee145646
Iowa144423
Appanoose139147
Grundy139030
Jefferson138232
Winnebago138230
Cass134151
Calhoun133711
Mitchell130840
Louisa128241
Union126331
Chickasaw125213
Sac124218
Emmet121240
Shelby121033
Franklin118419
Humboldt117425
Guthrie116528
Palo Alto104921
Montgomery103936
Howard103121
Clarke100520
Unassigned9890
Keokuk98129
Monroe93128
Adair91928
Ida91032
Pocahontas85519
Davis82623
Monona81627
Greene77310
Lucas73821
Osceola70514
Worth6987
Taylor66412
Fremont5919
Decatur5789
Van Buren55918
Ringgold52020
Wayne48821
Audubon4869
Adams3264
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