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Posted on: September 5th, 2018 by Chris Scott
Cannabis legalization house grow op


As an owner of Ottawa investment properties, the upcoming legalization of marijuana is another element that needs to be considered when finding tenants. When this law is passed it would grant the right for individuals to grow up to four plants in their home. I certainly don’t want them growing those plants in my investment properties. It can pose health risks from the potential growth of mould, fire risk, and the significant damage due to high humidity requires. Most importantly your property value could plummet if the house was deemed to be a “grow op” This is not a label you want. Also, smoking marijuana can be worse than cigarette smell in terms of getting rid of the bad odours.

It remains for the courts to determine if a tenant’s right to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes is greater than a neighbour’s right to not smell it, and a landlord’s right not to have it happen in their property.  Especially since there are alternative forms of medicinal marijuana including pills, capsules and oil. I am sure there will be lots of upcoming cases that examine this complicated legal question. Something to watch for.

So how can you protect yourself?

Having strong clauses in your lease agreement is important. Here is one example:

Smoking, which includes tobacco and marijuana, any electronic versions and anything smoked for medicinal, recreational or remedial purposes, and growing plants of any type or quantity which includes marijuana, cannabis and hydroponics, are not permitted to be grown or cultivated anywhere in or on the premises, including common areas and the tenant’s rented unit.

I also am a big believer that the due diligence process is an important step. To be honest, if I suspect they are smokers I will not rent it to them. Even if they say they would never smoke in the house. I just don’t take the chance.  Besides the credit checks, I will ask previous landlords if they were smokers and I often try to find pictures of them through facebook etc to get a sense of who they are. Might sound excessive but once your tenants are in they are hard to get out! For the record there is nothing wrong with smoking weed, I just don’t want people to smoke or grow it in my investment properties.

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