Shaevel, Krems, O'Connor & Jackowitz, LLP
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Getting Rid of Drug Dealers

Article by Kenneth Krems for New England Assisted Housing Management Association

Recently landlords have had to deal more often with tenants who use drugs in, and sell drugs out of, their apartments. Managers want to evict these tenants as quickly and inexpensively as possible, and do not want to commence a court action unless there is a strong likelihood that they will be successful. There are several types of actions which landlords can institute, and various evidentiary tips which can be utilized to improve the chances of winning.

Most often landlords will serve the tenant with a thirty-day notice to quit for cause or nuisance. The notice is based upon language in subsidized leases which prohibits the tenant from engaging in or permitting others to engage in unlawful activities in the unit or in common areas, including the possession, use or sale of illegal drugs. After the thirty days expire, the landlord commences an eviction action in court. The problem with following this procedure is that it takes a minimum of two to four months from start to finish.

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