Harwood Capital Corp. v. Carey

A landlord sought to evict two tenants after receiving complaints from abutting residents about the strong smell of smoke emanating from their apartment.  The tenants’ lease did not mention smoking.  The tenants worked out of the unit; they combined to smoke about 40 to 60 cigarettes per day.  After a three-day trial, a jury returned a verdict that Carey had breached his lease under a clause in the standard Greater Boston Real Estate Board lease prohibiting tenants from creating a nuisance or engaging in activity that substantially interfered in the rights of other building occupants.  The jury also ruled that, therefore, the landlord was entitled to possession of the unit.  See Scally, J., “Jury Finds Tenants Can Be Evicted for Smoking in Unit,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, June 13, 2005, 1, 31, Ranalli, R. and Saltzman, J., “Jury Finds Heavy Smoking To Be Grounds for Eviction,” Boston Globe, June 16, 2005, B1, B11,  Blumberg, D., “Even Home Isn’t Haven for Smokers,” Christian Science Monitor, June 22, 2005, 17, Shaffer, S., “Lighting Up in Your Condo? Think Again,” National Law Journal, July 4, 2005, 6 and White, N., “Tenants Evicted for Smoking,” Lawyers Weekly USA, July 4, 2005, 1.

(Boston Housing Court Docket No. 05-SP-00187, 2005).