Federal Eviction Moratorium Added to Renter Protections Already in Place in Minnesota

On September 1, 2020 a federal eviction moratorium was announced which is effective through the end of year. The CDC announced an “exceedingly rare” order

to temporarily halt evictions for people impacted by COVID-19. Housing providers, including HUD-assisted senior housing, are prohibited from evicting residents under a certain income threshold for non-payment of rent until December 31; however, rent payments are still due, and housing providers can still charge late fees. LeadingAge is working with federal agencies to provide accompanying relief for housing providers. To read more about the Agency Order, and to read a recent LeadingAge letter to the CDC on evictions, click here.

We have received a number of questions on this federal moratorium and how it relates to the renter protections already in place in Minnesota:

What is the MN eviction order? Gov. Tim Walz announced a halt to evictions in March to prevent people from being unsheltered during the coronavirus pandemic. Public health officials and lawmakers have urged people to stay home as much as they can to curb the illness. As previously reported, the Minnesota order can be found in Executive Order 20-79 and allows for several exceptions to the moratorium.

When does the Minnesota eviction moratorium end? The moratorium on eviction ends when the Peacetime Emergency ends. The Peacetime Emergency powers must be renewed every 30 days. The next date that the orders must be extended to remain in place is Sept. 11, and we anticipate the governor will extend the Peacetime Emergency at that time.

How does the CDC eviction moratorium affect us in Minnesota? The CDC’s moratorium calls for a stop on evictions through Dec. 31. The CDC’s order is a backstop should the Governor decide not to extend the state’s eviction ban. It applies only to nonpayment of rent cases and tenants have to submit a special declaration form to their landlord to potentially prevent an eviction filing. Without that form, if the Minnesota eviction moratorium were to end, tenants who have not paid rent could be evicted. Also, under the CDC order, tenants can still be evicted if there’s property damage, they’re housing people not on the lease, or other situations.

Do the moratoriums mean people don’t have to pay rent? No. The executive order and the CDC order do not relieve people from having to pay their rent or mortgage each month. 

Does a Minnesota landlord have any options for evicting a challenging tenant? Yes. Under the executive order, evictions are allowed in cases where a tenant seriously endangers the safety of other residents or violates other laws, such as bringing in controlled substances. In those situations, landlords can still file for an eviction, and tenants can be removed from the property if they lose in court. But tenant rights advocates say the burden of proof for landlords is still quite high. 

Who is eligible for the federal eviction moratorium? Eligible renters include those who qualified for a stimulus check under the CARES Act based on their annual income, and those who would become homeless if evicted. In order to certify applicability, a renter can submit a signed statement to their landlord or property owner; the statement is included as an attachment in the Agency Order and is available here.

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