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MN AG accuses landlord of trying to force out tenants during pandemic

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. AP image

MN AG taking legal action to stop him.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 7:20 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2020 7:22 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A northern Minnesota landlord is under fire for allegedly trying to force tenants out of their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

State Attorney General Keith Ellison says Pine County landlord Howard Mostad entered his tenants’ homes in Sandstone, disconnected their electricity, and tried to pressure them to leave while the state is under Governor Walz’ “Stay at Home” order. Ellison says the tenants were sheltering in place with their four-year-old daughter who had an underlying medical condition that makes her especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Now is the time for Minnesotans to turn toward each other, not away from each other. Most people, businesses, and landlords are doing the right thing during the crisis. For those landlords who aren’t, let this case serve as a warning to you: if you take illegal actions to force your tenants to vacate their property during this emergency, my office will take swift and strong action against you,” says Ellison. “I encourage any Minnesota who believes they are being wrongly forced out of their home during this emergency to contact my office immediately. We are committed to putting a stop to conduct like this so that Minnesotans can live with the dignity, safety, and respect we all need to navigate our way through this crisis.”

A copy of the Attorney General’s complaint against Mostad and a motion for a temporary restraining order can be seen by clicking here and here.

Ellison says under Governor Walz’s Executive order, property owners cannot file eviction actions or terminate residential leases for the duration of the coronavirus peacetime emergency. In addition, Ellison says it is illegal under Minnesota’s landlord-tenant laws for a landlord to interrupt or cause the interruption of electricity, heat, gas, or water services to a tenant and the disconnection of such services is considered a constructive eviction.

The Attorney General’s office is seeking permanent injunctive relief, civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation, restitution for the residents, damages under Minnesota’s landlord-tenant laws, and costs and fees.

Attorney General Ellison says Minnesotans should report suspected violations of Executive Order 20-14, which suspends evictions during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, by filling out the dedicated Tenant Eviction Complaint Form on the front page of the Attorney General’s website. Minnesotans can also do so by calling his office at (651) 296-3353 (Metro) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota).

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 779749

Reported Deaths: 8705
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1551991932
Ramsey63983985
Dakota57663527
Anoka54651523
Washington34014332
Stearns28901255
St. Louis24156362
Scott21836160
Wright21662171
Olmsted18423120
Sherburne15716115
Carver1381257
Clay1034999
Rice10062131
Blue Earth977859
Crow Wing9658109
Kandiyohi851698
Chisago847164
Otter Tail8234106
Benton7604112
Beltrami670380
Mower656341
Douglas642091
Goodhue631285
Itasca630887
Winona618454
McLeod604471
Steele592525
Isanti581174
Morrison571569
Becker543464
Polk520080
Freeborn493642
Nobles484952
Lyon462356
Carlton453066
Nicollet440454
Pine433233
Cass432246
Mille Lacs424967
Brown416347
Todd409736
Le Sueur390132
Meeker364354
Waseca331831
Martin331537
Wabasha30608
Hubbard296544
Dodge277610
Roseau268027
Fillmore250514
Wadena244529
Redwood243643
Houston234217
Renville231449
Faribault223430
Pennington218427
Sibley214712
Cottonwood198529
Kanabec194730
Chippewa193840
Aitkin187143
Watonwan173112
Pope16348
Yellow Medicine160620
Rock158119
Jackson148615
Koochiching139619
Clearwater138318
Swift137519
Murray137011
Marshall135120
Pipestone133927
Stevens128011
Lake110921
Wilkin104414
Lac qui Parle100324
Mahnomen92112
Norman8939
Grant8129
Big Stone8055
Lincoln7895
Kittson61722
Red Lake5969
Unassigned554124
Traverse5285
Lake of the Woods4824
Cook2460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 474151

Reported Deaths: 6785
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk74657729
Linn29194394
Scott24733274
Black Hawk20335358
Woodbury19207244
Johnson17988100
Dubuque15834229
Pottawattamie14276200
Dallas14109108
Story1288551
Warren774296
Cerro Gordo6951110
Webster6950111
Clinton6929101
Des Moines667594
Marshall641885
Muscatine6352113
Wapello5936137
Jasper578279
Lee565689
Sioux565676
Marion508191
Buena Vista491746
Plymouth463487
Henry389847
Jones370861
Washington366856
Benton359257
Bremer357168
Boone350937
Carroll346353
Crawford339347
Mahaska322856
Dickinson301052
Clay279133
Buchanan279039
Jackson273546
Kossuth271873
Hardin270249
Tama264976
Fayette260649
Delaware258546
Cedar249526
Page249328
Wright243645
Hamilton233954
Winneshiek233338
Floyd221845
Harrison217777
Madison216925
Clayton214558
Poweshiek211741
Iowa208029
Butler206638
Cass201557
Jefferson201040
Mills199929
Allamakee194753
Cherokee193844
Lyon192941
Hancock187639
Winnebago186633
Calhoun186116
Appanoose180850
Shelby178439
Louisa171052
Grundy168537
Humboldt167727
Emmet167146
Franklin164628
Mitchell164043
Union162637
Chickasaw159318
Sac157924
Guthrie155434
Montgomery142342
Palo Alto142032
Clarke141328
Keokuk139635
Monroe134335
Howard128222
Ida118641
Greene116315
Davis115225
Lucas113724
Pocahontas111423
Monona108738
Worth10818
Adair105335
Osceola94017
Fremont86111
Van Buren84221
Decatur82612
Taylor79713
Wayne74824
Ringgold67727
Audubon66814
Adams5095
Unassigned380
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