The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the real estate industry, particularly when it comes to evictions and moratoriums. As the country slowly emerges from the pandemic, landlords face several challenges related to evictions and moratoriums. In this blog, we will discuss these challenges and provide guidance on how landlords can navigate this issue.
The Eviction Moratorium
The eviction moratorium was one of the most significant challenges facing landlords during the pandemic. In Minnesota, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-14, which established a temporary moratorium on evictions for the duration of the peacetime emergency.
This moratorium was extended several times and expired on June 1, 2022, allowing evictions to proceed for nonpayment of rent. However, there are some exceptions to the moratorium, including cases involving threats to health and safety and lease violations related to criminal activity.
Landlords should be aware of these exceptions and consider whether they have grounds for evicting a tenant. It’s also important to stay current on any changes to the eviction moratorium and related laws.
Communicating With Tenants
Another challenge facing landlords during the pandemic has been communicating with tenants. Many tenants have faced financial hardship because of the pandemic, and landlords may be struggling to collect rent or enforce lease terms.
Landlords need to communicate clearly and compassionately with tenants during this time. This may involve working with tenants to create payment plans or making other accommodations to help them stay in their homes.
However, landlords need to understand their rights and obligations under the law. They should be aware of the specific terms of their lease agreements and any relevant laws or regulations related to evictions or rent collection.
Legal Pitfalls to Avoid
There are several legal pitfalls that landlords should be aware of when it comes to evictions and moratoriums. These include:
- Violating the eviction moratorium. Landlords who violate the eviction moratorium could face significant legal consequences, including fines and legal action from tenants.
- Discrimination. Landlords must be careful to avoid discriminatory practices regarding evictions or rental applications. Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or other protected categories is illegal and can result in legal action.
- Improper notice. Landlords must provide proper notice to tenants before initiating an eviction. Failure to provide proper notice can result in legal challenges and delay the eviction process.
- Retaliation. Landlords must be careful to avoid any actions that could be perceived as retaliation against tenants who have raised concerns or filed complaints about the pandemic or other issues.
How Lommen Abdo Can Help
Navigating the complex legal landscape related to evictions and moratoriums can be challenging for landlords. At Lommen Abdo, our experienced real estate attorneys can provide guidance and support to help landlords navigate these challenges.
We can assist with lease agreements, eviction notices, and other legal documents related to evictions and moratoriums. We can also guide landlords on communicating effectively with tenants to minimize any future legal issues.
In addition, our attorneys can provide representation in legal disputes related to evictions or rental agreements. We can help landlords understand their legal rights and obligations and provide support throughout the legal process.
Summing It Up
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for landlords regarding evictions and moratoriums. However, landlords can navigate any legal pitfalls and protect their interests with the right guidance and support. By working with experienced real estate attorneys, landlords can ensure they comply with the law and avoid costly legal issues.