DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

June 19, 2014

About the Law: Police, not landlords, should handle suspected drug dealers

Can I sue my landlord for allowing two drug dealers to sell drugs in the building? I live in a small apartment building and it is obvious by the cars that come and go and just observing things. I’m not saying the landlord is in on it in any way, but he has to know.

In my opinion the best plan of action is to contact police. Tell them about any and all specific observations that you’ve made. Let them take it from there. Law enforcement has the duty to investigate such things and, if you read the paper, they do make somewhat frequent drug busts.

The reason I emphasize letting them handle it is that under landlord tenant law, you might have a tough time pursuing the landlord unless he were, in your words “in on it,” which you yourself doubt.

Landlords have a legal duty to provide rental property that complies with what the law calls the warranty of habitability. That means the apartment must be reasonably habitable or livable. But, the law generally looks to conditions such as leaking roofs, broken windows, lack of waterproofing and other physical conditions.

Maintaining working utilities and having no “filth, rubbish and vermin” in the building provide other examples where this warranty kicks in. You might have the first case ever. But, I’d leave it to law enforcement.

My ex-boyfriend and I were together for almost four years and I suffered emotional, physical and mental distress. I also spent a lot of money on various things, thousands of dollars. Can I sue my ex-boyfriend for emotional distress?

Emotional distress is one of the most frequently mentioned types of cases. It’s also one of the least often actually successful. There are two types of emotional distress claims: one for intentional infliction of emotional distress and another for negligent infliction.

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