Landlord Gregory Nisbet is the owner of the Noyes Street multi-unit that caught fire last November, killing six young people.
Tenants of one of his other properties located at 188 Dartmouth Street, called for a City inspection after repeated calls to Nisbet that they say were ignored.
After the City inspected the property, the tenants were evicted by Nisbet.
In response to this eviction, the newly formed Portland Tenants Union is asking the City to adopt policy changes that will guarantee that tenants will not be subject to the threat of homelessness due to landlord malfeasance or neglect.
“Being forced to find adequate housing in the middle of winter in Maine is next to impossible,” said Tom MacMillan and Grace Damon, two organizers of the Tenants Union.
“The Portland Tenants Union demands that the City ensure that the residents find adequate housing and do not end up homeless as a result of their landlords neglect,” continued MacMillan and Damon.
Tenants who have a written lease can be evicted only for a “material breach” of the lease. This means the tenants have violated the lease by not paying rent, disturbing others, damaging the apartment, or violating some other “material” lease clause.
At will tenants, who do not have a lease, can be evicted with thirty-days notice for almost any reason or no reason at all. At will tenants can be evicted with as little as seven days notice for serious damage to the apartment, nuisance complaints, changing the locks, or being behind on rent.
For more information on tenants’ rights can be found at the Pine Tree Legal website.