Posted on

my tenant is growing weed

Finding a cannabis farm in your rental property is one of the worst things that can happen to you as a landlord. The criminals behind cannabis farms may be involved in other illegal activity such as criminal gangs and human trafficking. They can render your property uninhabitable and your property will become a crime scene, preventing you from re-letting it or carrying out repairs. You may even find yourself implicated if you have not taken the necessary precautions, putting your reputation at risk.

The threat of cannabis farms on landlords and the wider community

With rented homes increasingly being turned into potential death traps, illegal cannabis farms pose a huge threat not only to landlords, but also to the safety of people living in neighbouring properties. Nobody wants to live next door to a cannabis farm, yet towns and cities across the country are now blighted by criminals running cannabis factories from residential, often rented, properties. So, it is important that landlords can recognise the warning signs and know how to protect themselves and their neighbours against the risk of unwittingly becoming a victim of this trend.

Police warn that those tampering with energy meters risk electrocution, severe burns and increase the risk of fire due to exposed wires and connections that can easily become overheated. Worryingly, data released last year showed that police investigations into the theft of electricity were up by 13 per cent on the previous year, with cannabis factories largely blamed for this rise.

A
Boulder Creek rental was damaged in August when a fire broke out in an
area where about 30 marijuana plants were growing, according to the
Boulder Creek Fire Department. The small fire, which started when no one
was home, caused about $20,000 in damage.

“Houses generally aren’t constructed with the idea that you can grow a lot of plants in there,” he said.

SANTA CRUZ — Jon Castaline, a
middle-aged disabled handyman, was looking for a place to store his
tools and his medicinal marijuana plants.

Castaline
said he has no space to tend to the plants in the on-site housing he is
provided at the motel he maintains. He was keeping 11 plants and four
clones in a 7-by-7-foot mylar-lined room framed inside of the storage
unit.

“My beef isn’t with his ability to smoke. Fine. I could care less,” Escher said. “This is about protecting my tenants.”

The fire danger, not the marijuana,
irked Escher, she said. She immediately moved to evict Castaline from
the unit and, after some resistance, Castaline agreed to vacate
Thursday.

For
Escher, the issue wasn’t marijuana so much as the dangers the grow
could pose to the 12 tenants living above the garage Castaline rented.
She said it wouldn’t matter if Castaline were cultivating marijuana,
growing tomatoes or cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven.

If a tenant has repeatedly breached smoke-free rules contained in a tenancy agreement, and approaching the tenant directly has not resolved the issue, the landlord may give the tenant at least 10 days’ written notice to terminate the tenancy agreement. If the tenant refuses to leave, the landlord may make an application to a rental officer asking for an eviction order.

Residential property owners have legal authority to make their properties and premises smoke free. A provision has been added to the [Residential Tenancies Act][ to specifically provide that if a tenancy agreement entered into before the day Bill 6 received assent (June 1, 2018) restricts the smoking of tobacco, then that same restriction applies to the smoking of cannabis.

Under the Federal Cannabis Act adults will be able to grow up to four plants at their place of residence for personal use. There cannot be more than four plants, no matter how many adults live in the home. A landlord that wishes to restrict the growing of cannabis in a rental unit can include a clause in the tenancy agreement stipulating this limitation, or notify a tenant in writing. As a result of an amendment added to the Residential Tenancies Act by Bill 6, a landlord now has the authority to notify a tenant in writing that cultivation is prohibited in a rental premises even if the existing lease does not deal with that issue.

Yes. Landlords have the ability to set rules to protect the health and safety of their residents and protect their property as long as the rules and any related terms of the tenancy agreement do not conflict with federal or territorial laws. Adopting smoke-free rules is similar to adopting no-pets or no-barbeques rules.

If a building is smoke-free, does this apply to balconies, common areas, or anywhere elsewhere on the property?