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Marijuana a growing problem for Landlords


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So you think you've found the perfect tenant.


Don't be fooled, often these seemingly great tenants show up with excellent references and pay the first and last month's rent, sometimes by cash or even with a certified cheque.


Almost all marijuana growers use rental properties to avoid damage to their own properties producing huge profits for them. These grow ops cause considerable damage and can render you rental unusable unless expensive repairs are undertaken. 


Indoor cultivation causes devastating damage to rentals.

Methamphetamine laboratories and marijuana crop operations are spreading. If you see an unusual amount of paint thinners, fuel or drain cleaners on the property it may point to a meth lab while blocked windows and old potting material may point to a grow op.


High condensation leads to mould. Carpets, fixtures and wires are often ripped out, leaving the Landlord with extensive repair bills. Methamphetamine laboratories create toxic chemicals with the potential for explosions and fires. Methamphetamine is man-made. It is concocted from household chemicals and solvents such as battery acid, drain cleaners, fertilizer, matchbook strikers and paint thinner. Crystal Meth can also be produced by mixing pseudoephedrine commonly found in over-the-counter decongestants and allergy medications.


Insurance claims: As the costs associated with illegal grow operations have soared, many insurers have sent letters to policy holders warning them that they are on their own when it comes to claims for fire, water or any other damage caused by grow ops; even if the landlord is completely unaware that their property was being used for a grow op.

Many Landlords are outraged as their insurance premiums continue to rise. Although some companies may honour claims, many are refusing to pay. To be sure, Landlords should contact their insurance agent to determine if their insurance covers such claims.

Under the residential tenancy acts and regulations a Landlord can not forcibly enter their rental property to check for illegal activity until they have given the tenant 24 hours notice to enter the rental unit. In these cases all too often the tenant will find an excuse to delay the Landlords visit. Landlords can only enter a property in an emergency type situation, so the odds of catching them in the act can be very difficult.

So what can a landlord do? Find out what your legal rights and obligations are. Look for the landlord tenancy laws and regulations for your province here.> Tenancy Laws.

What should you watch out for if you suspect a marijuana cultivation or methamphetamine lab operation is going on in your rental?

Before you accept any tenant watch out for the warning signs. 

  Tenants who offer to pay in cash.

  Willing to pay more than rental asking price.

  Give incomplete answers on their application.

  Register with utilities under a different name.

  Have no home phone number.

  They are not interested in the layout of the home.

  They are very interested in the electrical panel, watts etc.