Students could get evicted over riot

An owner said tenants violated multiple lease agreements.
April 27, 2009

Residents of a house on Seventh Street Southeast were served with eviction notices Monday afternoon as a result of legal action taken by their landlord, Dinkytown Rentals owner Tim Harmsen, regarding the riot that occurred on the block Saturday night.
The students could be forced to move out as soon as Thursday morning, pending a judge’s decision in Hennepin County Housing Court, Harmsen said.
The residents of the brown duplex, distinguishable by a large deck of cards on its second story deck, violated several conditions of their lease, Harmsen said.
Both the upper and lower units are facing eviction for unlawful assembly, destruction of property, providing numerous kegs to minors during an earlier party and receiving numerous noise complaints, Harmsen said.
“They had 300 to 400 people over, and were providing six or seven kegs of beer to a party,” he added.
The students facing eviction were advised by University Student Legal Service to not comment to the media.

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Third Ward councilwoman Diane Hofstede, who represents the Dinkytown area, said the community has expressed a concern that an event like this will happen again.
“There’s a great deal of disappointment in the students,” Hofstede said. “It was a drunken brawl and it was a dangerous situation.”
Usually, residents have at least seven days after an eviction notice before they first appear in court, student legal service attorney Bill Dane said.
Harmsen received an expedited hearing for the case, meaning the issue will go before a court within three days of serving the tenants with legal papers.
“It’s not a very common practice for the court to shorten up the process,” Dane said.
The first appearance is an opportunity for the students to agree or disagree with the charges, Dane said. If they disagree with the eviction, it would bring the issue to trial.
Harmsen said he will review his lease agreement and will consider adding new stipulations to ensure things like this don’t happen in the future.
“What happened Saturday night will not be tolerated if I have anything to do with it,” Harmsen said Monday.
Dan Oberpriller, landlord of a house across the street from the residents, said the house in question was out of control for most of the day.
Harmsen said he thought Minneapolis police did a good job of controlling the riot, but felt that there should have been more arrests.
Oberpriller’s tenants were one of three parties that hosted keg races on the block early Saturday morning, according to its residents. However, his tenants did not violate their lease, Oberpriller said.
Laurel Edwards, a tenant in Oberpriller’s property, said Oberpriller came to the house around 12:30 p.m. to make sure things were under control.
“Things were very controlled behind our house,” Edwards said. “There were two other parties besides ours that all poured out onto the street.”
Oberpriller, owner of College Property Management , said he maintained communication with his tenants throughout the day. He said he instructed them to keep their doors locked and not to let anybody inside.
Oberpriller said he supported the police action.
“Police did a good job in maintaining order and not being too aggressive with the situation,” he said.
Oberpriller and Harmsen are both on the board of a recently established “landlord student advocacy group,” which they said they hope can encompass students, landlords, homeowners and members of the greek community.
“Dinkytown is a real sensitive place right now for landlords and tenants,” Oberpriller said. “The neighborhood associations need to have more representation from students.”

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