Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | July 16, 2010

Marijuana in My Building?

No way !  You say, but in the teen vernacular, “yes way!”

It’s not surprising to learn that the most frequent questions to Prime Minister Harper during his recent YouTube interview pertained to marijuana. Its use is prevalent in Canada and you might be surprised to know most of it is not purchased on the street from traffickers — it is “home-grown” — perhaps in your rented home!

We’re not talking the commercial grow operations reported by the media; rather the 5 to 15 plants for “recreational use” that exists in thousands of BC homes — most of them rented. They are grown in the corner of a bedroom, a closet, the attic, behind the furnace; not much space is needed. Even a few plants can damage your property; they require high heat and humidity and even a small sophisticated grow op can involve pesticides and herbicides.

How do you as a landlord protect yourself against this possibility?

You have a legal right to inspect your property as frequently as monthly. When you do an inspection, be thorough. Closets and cupboards are part of your property; look inside them. Even a few plants give off a pungent , skunky odor. Closely observe your tenants’ behaviour. Do they seem reluctant to have you enter a particular room or space? Do they want you not to go into a room because “Mary Jane is sick or sleeping?” Do they ask to delay an inspection? Don’t forget to check the yard; there may be discarded pots or small piles of soil in the back yard — new plants need new soil.

You may feel inspections this detailed are intrusive of your tenants’ privacy. If they re growing marijuana, that’s “intrusive” of you right to protect your property. Your right remains paramount!

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