UNDATED -- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed an executive order that suspends evictions of renters, however, that doesn't mean who don't have to pay your rent.

Eric Hauge is the Executive Director of Home Line, a nonprofit tenant advocacy organization. He says evictions are just temporarily suspended and the order does not stop your obligation to pay your rent.

If you can't pay April rent, just know that rent is still due, so if you're able to pay go ahead and pay and get a receipt.  If you're only able to pay a portion of your April rent, you should really contact your landlord to discuss that and get a written agreement about partial payment, if you're able to.

Hauge says you should also contact your landlord in writing and explain your situation and request a payment plan.

The Governor's executive order is only in effect during the peacetime state of emergency, so your landlord could start the eviction process once it's over if you don't have a plan in place.

Hauge says they have lobbied the state legislature to pass a bill yet this session that would provide additional rent assistance and also create a grace period of at least 60 days for tenants to repay back rent.

He says there were a lot of Minnesota renters struggling to pay rent before the coronavirus crisis began.

There are approximately 611,000 renter households in Minnesota, about 28 percent of our state are renters.  Nearly 180,000 of those households that are renters were considered extremely low income under HUD guidelines already.  That was before this happened.

Hauge says once the executive order expires landlords could begin eviction case court filings, however, because the courts aren't doing a lot right now they're going to be backed up for a while.

He says it is not in the landlord's best interest to start evicting people, because they might not be able to find new renters that are able to pay.

For specific questions, you can call their free legal hotline at (612) 728-5767 or 866-866-3456.

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