ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has resolved lawsuits brought by his office against two Minnesota landlords who failed to provide their tenants utilities.

In a Wednesday, July 29, news release, Ellison announced that both lawsuits filed by the state were settled by consent judgments in their respective county courts.

In the first case, an Aitkin County landlord allegedly didn't respond to tenants' numerous requests to refill the propane tank that heated the rented home. In the second case, a Lyon County landlord allegedly did not respond when his tenant's electricity went out for a long enough period that the food in his refrigerator spoiled.

Ellison said Wednesday that his office has received nearly 1,000 housing complaints in the past several months since the coronavirus struck Minnesota, with hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans losing their jobs, and evictions and most utility cutoffs ordered to pause. Ellison said the "vast majority" of landlords have voluntarily complied with Minnesota laws and Gov. Tim Walz's peacetime emergency executive orders on tenant rights.

“Having a safe, affordable roof over your head is essential to living with dignity and respect," Ellison said. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to protecting people’s lives."