Owner Can Evict Resident for Letting Guests Smoke in Unit
Facts: Ignoring repeated written warnings, a resident continued to smoke in her Section 8 unit and allow her guests to do likewise. And while the multiple complaints from neighbors about her screaming did little to gain the owner’s affections, the last straw was her arrest for attacking a police officer. After a hearing, the PHA concluded that there were grounds to evict her for engaging in violent criminal activity and repeatedly violating the “Smoke-Free Community” addendum of her lease. The resident appealed.
Decision: The Massachusetts appeals court said the hearing officer’s decision was reasonable and refused to set it aside.
Reasoning: The resident’s contention that attacking the cop wasn’t an act of criminal violence banned by her lease because nobody actually got hurt was a flimsy excuse. But that was a moot point because her smoking violations were themselves enough to evict. The resident admitted that smoking went on in her unit in violation of the lease; she just blamed it on her guests. But that was no defense since the lease made her responsible for the conduct of guests while they were present in the unit.
- Wojcik v. Melrose Hous. Auth.: 2020 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 291, 97 Mass. App. Ct. 1112