Watch CBS News

Mpls. Landlord Found Guilty Of Violating Tenants' Rights Ordered To Pay State $1M In Legal Fees

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A north Minneapolis landlord found guilty of "brazen and deplorable business conduct" has been ordered to pay the state more than $1 million in legal fees, according to Minnesota's top prosecutor.

On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's office announced Steven Meldahl's payment will cover the state's costs of investigating and prosecuting Meldahl's landlord violations.

Meldahl was found guilty last November of violating the rights of 267 families who rented from him. These families lived primarily in north Minneapolis. He charged more than 8% in late fees, prevented tenants from having their homes inspected by the city, and in some cases allowed tenants to live in wild-animal infestations "of Biblical plague proportions," the attorney general's office said.

The lawsuit was filed in October 2019. Ellison's office also claimed Meldahl would force low-income families to pay security deposits, worth thousands of dollars, which he would pocket after eviction. Mehldahl was also accused of bragging that he has evicted 99% of his tenants.

Following the ruling, Meldahl was ordered to pay a fine of $133,500 for disrespectful and unlawful treatment of vulnerable low-income residential tenants.

The attorney general's office says by law the awarded costs will go to the state's general fund.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.