Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cannabis Smoking and Growing in Rentals is now Legal

For better or worse, the federal government's implementation date for legal cannabis has arrived. Provincial legislatures have tweaked to the extent that the federal law allows tweaking. In Ontario, the Ford government did nothing for landlords who are already under siege with the Rental Fairness Act proclaimed last year, made even worse with the intolerable wait times at the Landlord Tenant Board.  Ready to have the smells, turnover costs & grow-op risks in your rental?  Read on!

If you are a landlord, you need to familiarize yourself with this new reality now.  What are the real risks?  I'm not a believer that the sky is falling.  There will be  period of adjustment, but landlords need to educate themselves on the realities of cannabis, and disregard the myths, stereotypes and stigma.

In Ontario, people 19 years of age and over are allowed to purchase and consume pre-rolled joints, flowers and CBD oils. Sales will be done online exclusively through the government's website. The government has announced that they will have the private retail component of the plan ready for next April, where you will see retail shops selling product (as they do today illegally) provided they have applied and qualified with the new requirements.

Medical cannabis will continue to be subject to different rules for those who qualify.  That will be problematic for landlords, as it will confer additional rights on those with medical licenses.

Condominiums will also have the power to curb smoking of both cigarettes and marijuana by amending their Declaration or passing a new Rule subject to the Declaration, provided the Rule is reasonable and consistent with the Declaration.  Many have already done this.  What does this mean for your tenants who smoke tobacco or weed?

Basically people in Ontario will be able to use cannabis wherever they now can smoke, except for in cars and boats that are underway. That means public parks, outside of your favourite store and street-corners will be awash in the sweet smell that for some is divine, and for others repugnant.

And yes, the Ford government is allowing smoking in rental units, and will not contest the federal government's allowance for growing plants, up to 4 per household, inside rentals.  Nor did the province set a height limit for plants.  I believe that this last omission was a mistake.

All this means that your tenants will be smoking marijuana in your home where you may live upstairs, in your condo where the Rules likely prohibit it, and of course in traditional purpose-built apartment buildings. They may also be growing, which will create strong smells, potential for utility increases, higher unit turn-over costs, mold and potential violations of your homeowner's insurance.

For those who are interested, I've added a 9th webinar to my webinar series, this one on the new Marijuana law and its interaction with the RTA, explaining how evictions are possible etc. This video is only 27 minutes long (all others are 2 hours) but there are some great accompanying documents, notice of termination sample pleadings to use for Landlord Tenant Board proceedings for when things get out of hand.  This new webinar is sold at a very reduced price, just $39.95.

Learn about how evictions are possible if you have problems arising from tenants smoking ANYTHING in the rental.  And learn about alternatives, such as vaping and oils that might be an alternative to your tenant who insists on partaking.  Who knows...a bit of education might turn you into an occasional user.

Here's the location for the webinars. Even if you don't need it, I'd appreciate sharing the link to any other groups you might be in. There are a lot of landlords who need this info now!

Webinar_on_Marijuana landlord eviction options

No comments: