LEWISTON — Mayor Robert Macdonald plans to be the middleman next month, bringing together downtown landlords and representatives from Pine Tree Legal to talk about evictions.

“I’ve talked to the lawyers, and I’ve talked to the landlords,” Macdonald said. “When you do that, when you listen to all the sides, you get a different perspective. Maybe if we all get together, we can come to an understanding. This is how things can be handled and this is how everybody wins.”

Pine Tree Legal provides free legal support for many downtown tenants facing eviction.

Landlords complain that the aid group makes it difficult for them to get rid of problem tenants, people who refuse to pay their rent, damage properties or are disruptive.

“The landlords like to act on their own behalf in those cases,” Macdonald said. “But when they do that, they may miss something or miss a deadline or screw up a piece of paperwork. And then they have to go up and start all over again and they give these people another three months of being in the unit, without paying the rent and doing more damage.”

Macdonald hopes the Pine Tree Legal representatives will address that issue.

“If they do it the right way, they can get problem tenants out in a month,” Macdonald said. “That’s the objective here, to have them out.”

Macdonald said he had not yet scheduled a date for the meeting, but he planned to host it in June.

“I’d do it on Monday, if I could,” Macdonald said. “It’s that important, but I have to schedule the time. We’ll do it in the daytime or at night, whichever works best.”

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