ST. PAUL (AP) -- Housing experts say rental evictions are rising in Minnesota as state protections adopted because of COVID-19 are beginning to east.

As of last week, a 15-day notice is no longer required before an eviction notice is filed over delinquent rent.

Lease terminations can also occur more easily.

For some, a pending application for financial aid through RentHelpMN can be a lifeline. The program distributes federal money aimed at preventing pandemic-related problems.

To date, nearly 50,000 applications have come in through RentHelpMN for assistance tied to past-due rent or utilities.

About $144 million has been distributed with many more requests pending.