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Posted on: July 1, 2021

State announces Eviction Moratorium Off-Ramp

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On June 29, Governor Walz signed legislation which includes an Eviction Moratorium Off-Ramp.  The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) has posted an FAQ on the Eviction Moratorium Off-Ramp that tenants and landlords may find useful.  If you are behind on your rent, you are encouraged to apply for assistance through https://www.renthelpmn.org/.

What exactly is the off ramp?

The “eviction off ramp” is a law that was recently passed by the Minnesota legislature and signed by Governor Walz. It ends the executive order that paused eviction actions and lease terminations at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “off ramp” also begins a process of allowing landlords to terminate leases or file evictions.

What is the timeline for the off ramp?

The bill was signed into law on June 29, 2021. The law goes into effect on June 30, 2021.

• June 30 – Landlords can give notices of lease termination or nonrenewal of lease to households that have materially violated the lease (other than nonpayment of rent). Landlords can also begin the process of evicting tenants who are behind on rent, eligible for a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program, but refuse to apply or comply with the application process.

• July 14 – Evictions can be filed for households that have materially violated their leases (other than nonpayment of rent).

• August 13 – Landlords can terminate leases of renters who are behind on rent and are not eligible for a COVID-19 emergency assistance program.

• September 12 – Landlords can file evictions against renters who are behind on rent and are not eligible for a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program.

• October 12 – All restrictions on lease terminations and eviction actions are lifted except that landlords cannot file or proceed with an eviction action against a household that has a pending application with a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program.

• June 1, 2022 – All restrictions on eviction actions are lifted.

I have questions about my specific housing situation and how it relates to the off ramp, who should I call or contact?

We suggest you reach out to Home Line’s tenant hotline (Metro – 612-728-5767 or Greater Minnesota 866-866-3546 or https://homelinemn.org/) or your local legal services organization. You can also find

more information at www.LawHelpMN.org.

I have questions about eligibility for COVID-19 emergency rental assistance, who should I call or contact?

If you have questions regarding eligibility for emergency rental assistance, you should call 211 or go to RentHelpMN.org.

What is the difference between a lease termination and an eviction?

A lease termination is a notice that is given to households by the landlord to inform them that their tenancy will be ending. It does not appear on tenant screening reports. An eviction action is a legal 

action in court to require the tenants to give up possession of the property. This type of action does appear on a tenant screening report and in court file records. 

What does it mean to be eligible for a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program?

The off-ramp protections for households with “pending applications” apply to applications for federally funded COVID-19 emergency rental assistance programs. To be eligible for a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program, federal requirements state a household must:

• Be a renter in Minnesota

• Have a household income under 80% of the area median income

• Have a member of the household that can demonstrate the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their ability to pay rent

• Be at risk for housing instability or homelessness

How do I know if I qualify for assistance from a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program?

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may qualify for assistance. You should visit www.RentHelpMN.org or call 211 to see if you qualify.

Is the landlord required to give me notice before they file an eviction?

Starting June 30, 2021, through Oct. 12, 2021, a landlord must provide a written notice at least 15 days before filing an eviction action for nonpayment of rent. That notice should state that the household may be subject to an eviction action, list the amount owed, and provide contact information for RentHelpMN.org and 211.

I submitted an application for a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program but haven’t heard anything. Can I be evicted?

Until June 1, 2022, a landlord may not file or proceed with a filed eviction action for nonpayment of rent against a household with a pending application with a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program.

If your application is still pending, you are protected from eviction actions for nonpayment of rent through June 2022.

What it is a “pending” application?

An application for a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program is pending if it has been submitted and hasn’t been denied, withdrawn or paid.

I submitted an application but my landlord hasn’t submitted any information or replied to any requests. What can I do?

If a landlord refuses to participate or for some reason does not submit the needed information, payments can be made directly to the tenant. You can contact your rental assistance program for more information.

I got an eviction summons or notice of termination but I don’t think my landlord followed the law. What should I do?

If you think that your landlord did not follow the law, we suggest you reach out to HomeLine’s tenant hotline (Metro – 612-728-5767; Greater Minnesota – 866-866-3546 or https://homelinemn.org/) or a local legal services organization. You can find the legal services office in your area by visiting LawHelpMN.org.

I am behind on rent but I don’t want to apply for COVID-19 emergency rental assistance. Can I be evicted?

Starting June 30, 2021, a landlord can start the process of evicting households who are eligible for rental assistance through a COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program but refuse to apply or participate in the application process. Until October 12, 2021, this process requires landlords to give households a notice at least 15 days prior to filing an eviction for nonpayment of rent.

I am on a month-to-month lease or my lease will expire during the off-ramp timeline. Can the landlord decide not to renew my lease? When?

As of October 12, 2021, all restrictions are lifted related to lease terminations. A landlord who decides to terminate a lease must follow applicable laws regarding lease terminations.

How do I know if my tenant is eligible for RentHelpMN or another COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program?

Additional information on general eligibility criteria is available at RentHelpMN.org or by calling 211. Eligibility will be determined during application processing.

My application was denied because I was told I was ineligible because of my income. I’ve now lost my job. Can I reapply?

You can reapply if your circumstances have changed and you think you are now eligible. You can request all assistance needed back to March 13, 2020, up to 18 months, even if you weren’t income-eligible during that time period.

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