Minnesota has implemented statewide tenant protections to prevent evictions: until June 2022, landlords cannot file for eviction for non-payment of rent against any tenant who has a pending application for COVID-19 emergency rental assistance. This will help tenants and promote the use of emergency rental assistance when the eviction moratorium ends.
The Homes for All Coalition, formed with a goal of bringing collective statewide advocacy to the Minnesota Capitol, was instrumental in advocating for Minnesota’s unique moratorium “off-ramp.” Advocates from more than 270 organizations from across the state, including NLIHC’s state partner Minnesota Housing Partnership, met with lawmakers over Zoom, testified at multiple hearings, held two online rallies that had impactful stories, and sent letters and hundreds of emails to state elected officials about the need to prevent renters from being evicted. The eviction moratorium phaseout is a solid compromise that will serve Minnesota renters better than if the Governor’s Executive Order 20-79 was to end abruptly without any guardrails.
Minnesota’s eviction moratorium was governor-initiated and was more comprehensive than the CDC eviction moratorium. It suspended non-payment of rent evictions and other forms of displacement, such as notices to vacate for lease non-renewals or evictions for lease violations. But it was extended in only 30-day increments, creating a climate of instability. Based on this experience, it became clear that the ending of the state moratorium would be confusing for both landlords and renters—and that a clear phase-out period would help to prevent evictions. The Homes for All Coalition advocated for a clear and transparent timeline for ending the state moratorium, and a notice period for after it ended.
The phaseout includes several step-downs with clear dates:
- As of July 14, landlords can file evictions for material lease violation but not for evictions for non-payment of rent.
- As of August 13, landlords can terminate leases and not renew leases of tenants behind on rent and who are ineligible for COVID-19 ERA.
- As of September 12, landlords can begin to file for evictions for tenants who are behind on rent but are ineligible for COVID-19 ERA. A landlord must provide a written notice to the tenant 15 days prior to filing an eviction based on nonpayment of rent.
“Minnesota's eviction offramp, which prohibits evictions for those applying for RentHelpMN, has been a critical life-line in protecting the health, safety, and economic wellbeing of thousands of renters,” noted Anne Mavity, Executive Director of Minnesota Housing Partnership. “It reflects a balanced approach that protects tenants who desperately need rental assistance to remain in their homes, and provides a realistic timeline that acknowledges that economic recovery doesn’t occur overnight, but will be a long road ahead.”
Most of the state’s off-ramp protections end on October 12 for tenants who are not eligible for this emergency rental assistance. This means that landlords can end a lease for any legal reason with appropriate notice, and that they can file evictions for any legal reason except non-payment of rent for tenants with a pending COVID-19 ERA application. That protection expires on June 1, 2022.
Advocates have turned their attention to supporting access to emergency rental assistance for thousands of tenant applicants. Minnesota has millions in emergency rental assistance available for tenants, but the wait for these funds to be processed is lengthy.
For more details on Minnesota’s off ramp see Homeline’s FAQ/timeline.