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Residential Landlord's Rights in Minnesota – COVID-19 Update
Written by Dave Buelow on September 9th, 2020

On March 23, 2020, Governor Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-14 (“Order 20-14”), which suspended residential real estate evictions, writs of recovery, and tenancy terminations during the peacetime emergency.  Order 20-14 prohibited a landlord from taking any action to evict a residential tenant unless the eviction action was brought where the tenant seriously endangered the safety of other residents or invoked Minn. Stat. §504B.171, Subd. 1, which prohibits tenants from using real property for controlled substances, prostitution, the unlawful use of a firearm, or storing stolen property. 

On June 5, 2020, Governor Walz modified Order 20-14 by issuing Emergency Executive Order 20-73 (“Order 20-73”). The new Order broadened the exceptions to Order 20-14 by allowing the eviction of a residential tenant if the tenant seriously endangered anyone at the premises, even non-residents.

The issuance of Order 20-14 and Order 20-73 put landlords in a troubling position if they had a tenant who was causing material damage to the leased premises. Residential landlords throughout Minnesota were forced to helplessly watch their properties be damaged by tenants without the ability to remove them from the premises. Acknowledging the severity of this issue, on August 4, 2020, Governor Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-79 (“Order 20-79”). Order 20-79 rescinded Order 20-14 and Order 20-73, maintained the suspension of residential eviction and foreclosure actions in most instances, but allowed residential evictions to proceed where the tenant:

  1. Seriously endangers the safety of other residents;
  2. Violates Minn.Stat. §504B.171, subdivision 1;
  3. Remains in the property past the vacate date after receiving a notice to vacate or non renewal in instances where the property owner or their family need to move into the property (and actually do so within 7 days after it is vacated by the tenant); or
  4. Materially violates a residential lease by the following actions on the premises, including the common area and the curtilage of the premises:

              i. Seriously endangers the safety of others; or
             ii. Significantly damages property

In order to commence an eviction action under the guidelines of Order 20-79, the landlord must provide written notice to the tenant in advance of commencing the eviction. The notice period is the longer of seven (7) days or the notice period contained in the lease.

Order 20-79 requested financial institutions to implement a moratorium on pending and future foreclosures of home mortgages when the foreclosure arises out of substantial decrease in income or medical expenses relating to COVID-19, urged parties to work together to reach an amicable resolution of issues that might otherwise give rise to an eviction proceeding, and urged tenants to continue to pay rent when due if they are able.

If you would like more information on the impact of Order 20-79 on your tenancy issues, please contact David Buelow at 763-201-1208 or


David Buelow | Attorney At Law
2900 Washington Avenue North | Minneapolis, MN 55411-1630
Direct: (763) 201-1208 | Cell: (612) 207-1811 | | LinkedIn

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