MINNEAPOLIS - Evicted.
It's the one word renters never want to hear.
In Minneapolis, more than 3,000 evictions are filed in the 4th District Housing Court each year. The city of Minneapolis completed a study in 2016 related to evictions.
It showed nonpayment cases accounted for 93 percent of eviction filings, most of which had no other reasons identified. For nonpayment only cases, tenants were an average of two months behind and owed $1,700 to $2,000.
In West St. Paul, Vicky Terhell and her husband, Mike Klasen, said they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. They have until the end of the month to vacate the property they said they rented for 22 years.
“The middle of June we received a call from a realtor. He said that the landlord wants to sell the property, offering us $1,000 if we could be out in two weeks,” Terhell said. “I said we can’t do that. There is no way we can be out of this house in two weeks.”
The realtor told KARE TV via text the seller asked him to communicate an offer which was rejected on June 14.
A notice to vacate the property, dated June 18, was delivered to Terhell and Klasen days after the initial call. A notice to vacate the property often sets the course for eviction.
Terhell and Klasen, who lives with a disability, said the unforeseen can set you back.
“After my accident everything went right down the toilet. I got in a bad car accident. A lady hit me head-on going 80 mph. She died. I went 70 feet in a ditch.”
Two years after the accident, Terhell said Klasen developed a bone infection that threatened his life.
“The doctor said you can die from the bone infection or you need to make a decision to amputate your leg. We made the decision,” Terhell said, looking at Klasen’s prosthesis leg.
Evictions remain a major issue facing renters in low income and minority neighborhoods.
In the Twin Cities, the median rent paid during 2012-2016 was about $977, according to Minnesota Compass.
Klasen and Terhell paid $500 per month.
According to the notice to vacate, they failed to pay rent twice in 2017. The notice said they also didn't pay rent in June.
The couple said finding affordable housing in the Twin Cities is a challenge.
“You have to have a credit score of 650 or above. Make three times the amount of the monthly rent,” Terhell said. “We can’t afford that.”
According to data on Eviction Lab, there are about 9.5 evictions per day across the state of Minnesota. The Eviction Lab at Princeton University has built the first nationwide database of evictions. Their data shows Ramsey County has the second highest rate.