Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's office has sued one of the state's largest private landlords, alleging unsafe living conditions.
HavenBrook Homes, which is the landlord for more than 600 properties throughout the Twin Cities metro, failed to repair and maintain rental homes, the suit alleges. Some of the most common issues were that the properties didn't have heat, had backed-up sewers, had doors and windows that wouldn't close, had mold issues, and had wild animals in the home, the 42-page lawsuit alleges.
“It’s almost impossible to afford your life and live with dignity, safety, and respect when your landlord puts their profits ahead of your health and safety,” Attorney General Ellison said in a statement. “I filed this lawsuit because it’s my job to protect Minnesotans from fraud and abuse, and tenants are consumers of housing who are entitled to the same protections as all consumers.
"HavenBrook’s strategy of extracting profit from their tenants by claiming to provide them with prompt, high-quality maintenance and repair but actually leaving them in uninhabitable homes isn’t just shameful, it’s deceptive, fraudulent, and violates Minnesota law. I’m holding them accountable for it," Ellison added.
The lawsuit says HavenBrook misrepresented its repair practices — it advertised it provided 24/7 same-day emergency service but would ignore repair requests for days — and kept its properties uninhabitable for tenants, which is a violation of Minnesota's consumer-protection laws and landlord-tenant law.
The AG's office also alleges HavenBrook violated state laws regarding lead paint removal, resulting in some people who lived in HavenBrook properties later being diagnosed with lead poisoning, and told tenants they had to leave their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was an eviction moratorium.
The lawsuit was filed in Ramsey County District Court against HavenBrook Homes and five related companies. Ellison's office says this is believed to be the first enforcement action an AG has filed against HavenBrook and its ownership in the U.S.
Bring Me The News has reached out to HavenBrook Homes for comment.