Boston Real Estate Law News - Find a MA Real Estate Attorney

Can You Get Evicted For Smoking Marijuana?

Boston renters may be asking the question: can get evicted for smoking marijuana?

Well, the short answer is yes. And there is a long answer, according to the researchers at FindLaw.

There are, in general, three different types of eviction notices that you may receive if you have violated some part of your lease agreement or rental contract.

First, there is the “Pay Rent or Quit” notice. This is basically what it sounds like. Your landlord will typically give you a set number of days to pay rent that is past due. Generally, you will get between three to five days in order to pay rent, or “quit” the lease and move out.

Second, “Cure or Quit” notices are typically sent out to tenants that have violated a condition or specific term in the lease. For example, these notices can be sent to tenants who have pets in rental units that do not allow animals, or to tenants that smoke when there is a clear no-smoking clause in the rental contract. In general, a tenant will have a certain period of time in which to correct their bad behavior or leave the apartment.

Lastly, there are “Unconditional Quit” notices. They are the worst to receive. Unconditional quit notices give no chance for the tenant to correct any wrong and generally leave no doors open to keep the tenancy continuing. Because of the harshness of these notices, state laws limit their use to certain, well defined situations. These notices can, in most situations, only be sent if you have:

  • Paid rent late on more than a few occasions
  • Violated a term or condition of the lease multiple times and have failed to correct or cure the defect
  • Been conducting illegal activities in the lease property, such as making or dealing drugs, or engaging in gang-related activity, or
  • Seriously damaged the rental property.

Of course, most renters are aware that there is no such thing as immediate eviction. But if your landlord has asked you to move out for smoking marijuana, and you ignore him or her, you could be putting yourself in the position of having the police called.

At that point you wouldn’t need a landlord/tenant attorney, but perhaps someone in the criminal law area.

Related Resources: