They could do so under the town’s “nuisance property” ordinance, a law intended to protect neighborhoods from seriously disruptive households. Officials can invoke the measure and pressure landlords to act if the police have been called to a rental home three times within four months.
So she faced a fearful dilemma, Ms. Briggs recalled, when her volatile boyfriend showed up last summer, fresh out of a jail stint for their previous fight, and demanded to move in.
“I had no choice but to let him stay,” said Ms. Briggs, 34, a certified nursing assistant, even though, she said in an interview, she worried about the safety of her 3-year-old daughter as well as her own.
“If I called the police to get him out of my house, I’d get evicted,” she said. “If I physically tried to remove him, somebody would call 911 and I’d be evicted.”