Publish date:

AG: Minnesota landlord disconnected power, tried to pressure family to leave as they sheltered from COVID-19

The landlord allegedly entered their home without permission and cut the power.
Author:

A Minnesota landlord has been accused of trying to evict a family, including a child with underlying health conditions, as they sheltered in place during the COVID-19.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has filed an enforcement action against Howard Mostad, a landlord in Pine County, whom he accused of entering his tenants' home in Sandstone against their wishes, disconnecting their electricity service, and trying to pressure them to leave the property.

"The tenants were sheltering in place in the home with their four-year-old daughter who has an underlying health condition that makes her especially vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure," a press release from Ellison's office announced.

This is an alleged violation of Executive Order 20-14, which Gov. Tim Walz signed and which suspends evictions during the coronavirus peacetime emergency in Minnesota.

It's also illegal under Minnesota law for a landlord to interrupt or cause the interruption of electricity, heat, gas or water services.

"Now is the time for Minnesotans to turn toward each other, not away from each other," Ellison said.

"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."

"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."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The AG's office is seeking penalties of up to $25,000 per violation and restitution and damages for the residents, as well as costs and fees.

While evictions have been suspended, it only delays rent. instead of forgiving it. As such, there is still a lot of pressure on families to keep up with rental payments during the COVID-19 shutdown so as to avoid accruing debt.

While some landlords have agreed to wave rental payments during the crisis, there have been efforts calling on the State Legislature to provide rental assistance that helps lower-income Minnesotans. More details here from MinnPost.

Next Up

Ambulance hospital emergency

Four killed in crashes after deadly start to weekend on MN roads

The latest figures show there have been 349 road deaths in Minnesota this year.

Delta

In crackdown on unruly passengers, Delta urges other airlines to share no-fly lists

The airline says it's a bid to "further protect airline employees across the industry."

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud State student-athlete suspended from team following alleged assault

The incident reportedly took place off campus on Sep. 18.

Gopher Football

U of M-barrassed: Gophers shocked by Bowling Green

The Falcons snapped a 21-game non-conference winning streak in front of a homecoming crowd.

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins applies for exemption to COVID vaccine, is rejected

Wiggins could miss a large chunk of the season without the vaccine.

CJ Ham

Vikings-Seahawks: 5 things you can count on happening

Can the Vikings finally beat Russell Wilson?

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Residents asked to be on the lookout for at-large suspect in Sauk Rapids

The suspect was last seen near the intersection of Garden Brook Drive Northeast and Strawberry Court Northeast.

Towerside Innovation District

Aquifer energy storage project wins financial backing of Mpls city council

It'll be used to power the Towerside Innovation District near the U of M.

Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 10.02.45 AM

Bomb threat prompts school evacuation in central Minnesota

A search of the building did not find any suspicious items.

Related

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison sues Apple Valley landlord for evicting tenant during pandemic

The landlord allegedly forced her tenants to move out so she could sell her townhouse, which is a violation of a COVID-19 executive order.

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison sues landlords for trying to evict tenant during peacetime emergency

The lawsuit is against two landlords of a Roseville property.

coronavirus test, covid-19

MDH reminds hospitals that shelter residents qualify for COVID-19 tests

Health officials are concerned about outbreaks in congregate living facilities.

coronavirus test, covid-19

Second COVID-19 death reported in Minnesota

The number of cases has jumped to 346.

coronavirus, covid-19, drive-thru testing

173 MN healthcare workers have COVID-19, most from travel or community

The latest figures were confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 7.35.52 AM

Legislature passes $330 million COVID-19 bill – here's what's in it

The Legislature had previously passed a $200 million package to fight the virus.