A judge in Athens, Ohio will decide whether a landlord can boot several tenants from his property for drug offenses.
The tenants, who are students, paid rent for the academic quarter. Later, police allegedly discovered illegal drugs on the property. Other alleged infractions include getting a dog, causing property damage, and starting a fire, according to a news report.
But the lawyer for the tenant argues that the landlord lost his right to evict the tenants — for any reason, once he accepted payment in advance. He contends that those tenants are legally allowed to stay at least for the term of those advance payments, according to the report. The tenants have contested the eviction, prompting a trial and delaying any subsequent eviction order.
The landlord says he had no choice under the law — he has a duty to evict the tenants due to the drug possession charge. However, he did hold up depositing two of the rent checks, although his lawyer insists that depositing them would not mean he is waiving the right to eviction under these circumstances, according to the report.
The landlord indicates he has witnesses who can prove that marijuana use at the property is ongoing, and claims the tenants have caused thousands of dollars of damage while waiting for the disputed eviction case to come up on the court’s calendar. The tenants deny those charges.
The property, which was rented for use as a fraternity house, is located only a few yards away from a police station, according to the report.
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