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: 547101

Reported Deaths: 7056
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1139831672
Ramsey47188850
Dakota41764418
Anoka37816415
Washington24550273
Stearns20738218
St. Louis16572296
Scott15682117
Wright14561125
Olmsted1264796
Sherburne1037380
Carver964944
Clay773889
Rice7506101
Blue Earth687340
Kandiyohi622679
Crow Wing603586
Chisago541549
Otter Tail537473
Benton524597
Mower448632
Douglas437270
Winona436649
Goodhue435371
Nobles397848
Morrison389159
McLeod385754
Beltrami369257
Isanti367559
Itasca362552
Polk359866
Steele354614
Becker349348
Lyon345048
Carlton325352
Freeborn323629
Pine307521
Nicollet303242
Brown292239
Mille Lacs274849
Le Sueur267622
Todd266430
Cass245926
Meeker230337
Waseca228720
Martin210729
Wabasha19903
Roseau194818
Hubbard169241
Dodge16914
Renville169143
Redwood164835
Houston162014
Cottonwood154120
Fillmore15109
Pennington149019
Chippewa144236
Faribault142419
Wadena142021
Sibley134010
Aitkin127536
Kanabec126821
Watonwan12509
Rock121818
Jackson115410
Yellow Medicine109819
Pipestone108825
Murray10189
Pope9946
Swift98018
Marshall84717
Stevens79910
Lake77919
Koochiching76412
Wilkin76312
Clearwater76114
Lac qui Parle73422
Big Stone5564
Lincoln5562
Grant5428
Norman5169
Mahnomen4898
Unassigned48278
Kittson46122
Red Lake3827
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods2983
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356437

Reported Deaths: 5797
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55735598
Linn20229329
Scott18871234
Black Hawk15498306
Woodbury14858219
Johnson1395580
Dubuque13097202
Dallas1086796
Pottawattamie10668160
Story1027747
Warren552386
Clinton535489
Cerro Gordo520486
Webster507691
Sioux504873
Marshall476674
Muscatine456896
Des Moines440465
Wapello4250120
Buena Vista421440
Jasper407370
Plymouth395979
Lee367255
Marion354275
Jones292755
Henry286037
Bremer278560
Carroll278550
Crawford261739
Boone257231
Benton249555
Washington249149
Dickinson240443
Mahaska223849
Jackson217842
Kossuth212362
Clay209325
Tama206571
Delaware202039
Winneshiek193733
Page190320
Buchanan188131
Cedar183123
Fayette182841
Hardin179242
Wright179135
Hamilton177749
Harrison175273
Clayton166455
Butler162334
Mills158120
Cherokee156638
Floyd155042
Lyon154041
Madison153019
Poweshiek152333
Allamakee149051
Iowa145124
Hancock143334
Winnebago135731
Grundy135032
Cass134454
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130535
Emmet128240
Shelby127137
Sac126619
Appanoose126547
Louisa126349
Mitchell125241
Union123932
Chickasaw122515
Humboldt118026
Guthrie117328
Franklin112521
Palo Alto110121
Howard102622
Unassigned10010
Montgomery100037
Clarke98023
Keokuk94330
Monroe93428
Ida89233
Adair84232
Pocahontas83221
Monona80930
Davis79924
Greene76410
Lucas74922
Osceola74716
Worth7058
Taylor65112
Fremont61210
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53522
Wayne51923
Audubon4949
Adams3274
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Mason City
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 29°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 29°
Austin
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Charles City
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 31°
Continued cloudy and cool conditions
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events