Attorney General's Office files action against Pine County landlord for violating executive order

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Friday that his office has taken legal action against a Pine County landlord for violating Gov. Tim Walz's Executive Order 20-14 regarding landlord-tenant laws. Under the order, property owners are prohibited from filing eviction actions or terminating residential leases duing the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, and can't interrupt tenant services, which is considered a constructive eviction.

Ellison's office said Howard Mostad entered his tenants' home in Sandstone and disconnected their electricity service in an attempt to pressure them to vacate the property. Ellison added the tenants were sheltering in place with their 4-year-old daughter who has an underlying health condition that makes her especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

The Attorney General's Office is seeking emergency relief from the court to restore the tenants' services and prevent Mostad from interfering with their residency during the peacetime emergency.

The office said it's seeking relief for the tenants and penalties of up to $25,000 per violation.

Ellison also encouraged Minnesotans to report other suspected violations of the executive order to his office by filling out a tenant eviction complaint form.