A Newsletter from the office of
Flynn Law Group
Drug and Criminal Activity
January, 2016
HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

2015 was a very exciting (and busy) year at Flynn Law Group! We welcomed more clients, associates and paralegals onto our team, attended many wonderful events, and held educational seminars across New England! 

 
As we begin a new year Flynn Law Group has set many goals to accomplish in 2016; one of our goals is sending you more high quality newsletters with useful information for your property!
Flynn Law Group           
This month we're talking about..
  The Dangers of Clandestine Chemistry

It's Sunday morning around 10, you're relaxing on a day off before you're back in the office on Monday morning. The property is far from  your mind when your cell phone rings: There's been an explosion in one of the buildings . Emergency Services are responding and many tenants have been injured. 
Sounds terrible doesn't it?
For Walnut Creek Apartments this was a reality in the fall of 2014. At 10 a.m. in a six unit complex a drug lab exploded leaving the entire building destroyed and many residents injured. The two men who live in the apartment were critically injured and airlifted to a burn center.

Unfortunately due to the availability of ingredients at-home drug labs are rising in popularity. It is important that property managers, resident service coordinators, maintenance workers, residents and everyone else on the property are aware of the risks and warning signs of an apartment with a drug lab. In apartment buildings there are many innocent residents who can be affected by one drug lab; it is important to have eyes and ears open to the warning signs of these dangers at your property! 

The warning signs to look out for in the trash or on the property: unusually large amounts of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), cold packs, antifreeze, empty pill packs, duct tape, ammonia smell, covered windows, sulfuric acid, empty bottles, tubing, funnels, coffee filters, drain cleaners, aluminum foil, lithium batteries, butane, propane, grain alcohol, and of course unexplained heavy traffic in and out of the apartment at odd hours.

Warning signs in tenants behavior: Anxiety, secretive or unfriendly behavior, confusion, paranoia, violence, the tenant is jobless yet has large amounts of cash.

Be careful! The waste created by drug labs is toxic and very dangerous; it's very important  to exercise caution near the trash or disposal areas.

If you suspect or find a drug lab at your property call the DEA, Fire Department or Police.  Do not touch anything with your bare hands or attempt to clean anything you rself; the chemicals  are extre mely  dangerous and require Hazmat
equipment. Everyone in the area should be evacuated because explosions are common and very dangerous. If while in the area you begin to feel sick or light headed seek medical attention immediately.

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Handling Drug and Criminal Activity at your Property
I have drug and criminal activity at my property, how do I evict this tenant before someone gets hurt?
 
These situations are dangerous and you want to make sure that you proceed with the eviction in the most efficient way. Please contact us first. Then we will review the lease in order to examine the allowable reasons to evict the tenant.  Most standard leases require the tenant "to not allow or create any unlawful acts." Additionally these violations must be
documented, if other residents are complaining about drug or criminal activity in a unit, document who is compl aining, what the problem is, when it happened, how you were informed, and why it's a problem. Everyt hing from physical descriptions of violators or dangerous individuals on the property to pictures and security camera footage. If you have found drug  related paraphernalia or a full drug lab in the residence be sure to take pictures! 

Simultaneously whenever there is an incident the property manager or RSC should communicate with the tenant; except where the situation is dangerous to the manager or RSC. It is necessary to show that the tenant was aware that the activity was prohibited by the lease and that the activity has to stop. When you become aware of lease violating behavior send the tenant a letter describing the complaint, identifying the time and date of the incident, and inviting the tenant to discuss the situation. All this information should be kept in the tenant's file and when there is enough documentation or evidence against this tenant contact us to begin the process of terminating the tenancy. 

To continue reading this article  click here.
Addressing Unacceptable Behavior by Condominium Tenants
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What about condominium tenants! 
How can owners and associations protect themselves from dangerous tenants?

How do you address the potential unacceptable behavior by this tenant? How can condominium trustees or association managers address these types of situations? It starts by requiring unit owners and their tenants to abide by the condominium association's rules and regulations, which should forbid disruptive, criminal, and otherwise unacceptable behavior. 

If a condominium association is going to allow unit owners to rent their units, then the condominium association should enact rules and regulations pertaining to leases and rentals of the units.  For example, an association can mandate that the lease contain a provision that requires tenants to comply with the rules and regulations of the condo association. If the tenants violate this provision, the unit owner will have grounds to evict the tenants.  An association should also require unit owners to provide copies of the condominium rules and regulations to the tenant; that way the tenant cannot plead ignorance when they are cited for a violation. Furthermore, unit owners should be required to provide a copy of the tenant's lease to the association.  The association will then be able to ascertain if the rules and regulations have been properly incorporated into the lease.

The Massachusetts Condominium Statute contains a special provision that condominium associations can utilize to keep unruly tenants from engaging in unacceptable behavior. This provision gives the condominium association the power to assess the unit owner with any expenses incurred from the misconduct of the unit owner, the unit owner's family members, tenants or invitees. Furthermore, the statute allows the condominium association to collect these costs, if unpaid by the unit owner, as a common expense assessment by filing a civil action after proper notices have been sent to the unit owner. 

Click here to continue reading this article. 
Please contact me if you would like us to assist you at your property or have any questions.  Happy New Year to you and your staff!
Sincerely,

Frank Flynn, Esq.
Flynn Law Group
185 Devonshire St., Suite 401
Boston, MA 02110
617-988-0633
Additional
Drug and Criminal  Information
 Proactive Measures to Avoid Drug and Criminal Activity
The first line of defense at your property is you! 
It is important to be proactive when it comes to preventing these activities at your property; installing security cameras, maintaining the lighting in the parks, playgrounds and parking lots at your property as well as having a resident service coordinator will promote safety.
Implementing a neighborhood crime watch, police outreach, youth outreach, and other positive programs will keep your residents feeling safe and reduce crime at your property. 
    
Methamphetamines
In recent years the popularity of "Meth" has risen drastically.

Recipes and directions can easily be found online or in television shows, and the ingredients needed like pseudoephedrine, otherwise known as Sudafed, can be purchased at local stores with relative ease.  

And now there's a new method allowing "Meth Labs" to be mobile. With the "One-Pot" or "Shake and Bake" method one can make meth by mixing the ingredients in any plastic bottle; bringing the labs out of the kitchen and virtually anywhere a plastic bottle can be kept.
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These bottles are also at risk of exploding. Plastic drink bottles are not designed to withstand the pressure created, and if the cap isn't on tight enough or too much oxygen is in the bottle, it can explode into a fireball. 

Once these bottles have been used they'll have a white residue on the inside.  If you see bottles of this description on your property it may be a sign that a resident or visitor is making Methamphetamines.  
THC Oil
Marijuana's active ingredient is THC, and there is a new way of engaging in marijuana use without smoking, that's THC Oil.  

Also referred to as Butane Honey Oil or Hash Oil, this drug is made by extracting the THC from the marijuana plant. This isn't as difficult as it may sound. One must mix cannabis with a solvent to dissolve the leaves and stems; separating the THC from the original plant.
 
Then heating the mixture to boil it down into an odorless (and extremely flammable) oil or wax.  When "burning off" the solvent to create the oil it must be heated at a high temperature which is not only dangerous to inhale, but also explosive. 

Unlike other drug labs the smell is not as obvious, while a Meth Lab will smell distinctly like ammonia, the THC oil is odorless making these labs more difficult to detect and even more surprising when they explode. 
Upcoming Events
IREM
Implementing a 
Non-Smoking Policy

January 26, 2016
536 Granite Street
2nd Floor
Braintree, MA 02184

To register: click here

IREM
Death of a Tenant and Hoarding

February 9, 2016
639 Granite St
Lower Level
Braintree, MA 02184

To register: click here
 
Webinar:
Death of a Tenant 

March 23, 2016
Location: Your computer!

To register: click here
Recent Events
Here is a short clip of Attorney Frank Flynn speaking at a national conference about how to reduce discrimination liability.
Fair Housing: Reducing Discrimination Liability
Fair Housing: Reducing Discrimination Liability

Our next Newsletter will focus on Fair Housing, Reasonable Accommodation and Modification, and Discrimination Liability. 

If you would like to have Attorney Frank Flynn speak at your next conference or event please contact Jessica, his executive assistant at:

Jessica@FlynnLaw-NE.com
Flynn Law Group
Our goal is to provide cost effective representation for property management companies.  With attorneys licensed in all six states of New England, we practice high quality residential, commercial and condominium real estate law. 

We build trusting relationships with all of our clients by focusing on results, winning in court, and providing fair cost representation.
 

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