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Monitoring Property & the Built Environment

Heights Apartments, LLC v. Walz

Overview

Heights Apartments, LLC v. Walz (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Apr. 5, 2022): The Eighth Circuit allowed a Minnesota rental property owner to pursue claims alleging that the 2020 statewide residential eviction moratorium was an unconstitutional taking and interfered with the property owner’s contracts. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic disruptions, in 2020, Governor Tim Walz signed executive orders forbidding landlords from issuing notices of termination, non-renewal, or eviction for failures to pay rent. Plaintiff property owner alleged the moratorium impeded its ability to manage properties and interfered with rent collection, violating constitutional rights under the contract clause, takings clause, due process clauses, and the First Amendment. A district court dismissed the claims, but the Eighth Circuit reversed dismissal of contract clause and takings clause claims, holding that the plaintiff had “plausibly pleaded” the moratorium “substantially impaired” its contractual bargains with tenants. Read the full decision here.

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