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With Some Exceptions, Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-79 Effectively Prohibits Evictions

As we are all aware, Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-79 effectively prohibits evictions during the Peace Time Emergency with no end currently in sight.  However, evictions are permissible, after 7 days notice, under certain limited circumstances.

Executive Order 20-79 does not allow property owners, mortgage holders, or other persons entitled to recover residential premises to file an eviction action on the grounds that a residential tenant[1] remains in the property after a notice of termination of lease, after a notice of non-renewal of a lease, after a material violation of a lease, after the termination of the redemption period for a residential foreclosure, or after nonpayment of rent.

However, this suspension does not include eviction actions where the tenant: a. Seriously endangers the safety of other residents;  b. Violates Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 504B.171, subdivision 1; (Crime Free Addendum); c. Remains in the property past the vacate date after receiving a notice to vacate or non-renewal under paragraph 4 of this Executive Order (where the Property Owner or his/her family member is moving into the Property); or  d. Materially violates a residential lease by the following actions on the premises, including the common area and the curtilage of the premises: i. Seriously endangers the safety of others; or ii. Significantly damages property.

This effectively allows a Property Owner to evict if the tenant is endangering other residents, seriously endangers the safety of others, significantly damages the Property, or, engages in a criminal activity on the premises including drug use/possession and/or possession of drug paraphernalia.

[1] Minn.Stat. §504B.001, Subd. 12., defines “Residential Tenant” as a person who is occupying a dwelling in a residential building under a lease or contract, whether oral or written, that requires the payment of money or exchange of services.


Kelly Griffitts is an experienced landlord tenant lawyer serving Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties in Minnesota.  Schedule an appointment with Kelly to get started or to learn more.