1 minute read.
The legalization of Marijuana for recreational use is right around the corner and frankly, it has landlords concerned. With the Residential Tenancies Act, there is very little a landlord can do presently to restrict pets or smoking within a rental unit. Unless the unit is sharing a common ventilation system and there is a concern for allergies, it is really difficult to emerge victorious in front of a landlord/tenant board when rectifying the situation. Now, throw marijuana in the mix and it just further complicates things. Once the legalization goes through, individuals can not only smoke weed in their own homes, but they can also grow up to four plants for personal consumption too! More liberal folks may shrug their shoulders as four plants is hardly a large farming operation but others may immediately picture a rented basement apartment of 600 square feet with a quarter (no pun intended, lol) taken up by plants and hydroponic equipment. The Ontario Real Estate Association has been calling for policies to be made so that the number of plants allowed can be slightly more proportionate to the size of the space that the individual is residing in. Their recommendation is one plant only if the property is 1,000 square feet or less. Seems fair but what do you think?
The never-ending debate of a tenant is that even though they are only renting, they should be entitled to use the space just as a homeowner would. Now, shouldn’t there be something in place to protect the owner and their property? Indoor growing, whether weed or tomatoes runs a risk of smells and moisture leeching into drywall and clogging ventilation systems creating an environment for mould to grow. Trying to get financing or insurance is hard for a landlord in great circumstances; trying to obtain it for a home that has had marijuana grown inside of it is a whole different ball game.
So much more will come from this legalization legislation than a 420 party. Protocols for disclosure under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act need to change. Standards for assessing insurance eligibility for homeowners will have to change too. If they don’t, we are all in trouble. Our new standardized Residential Lease Agreement will likely have to change along with the Residential Tenancies Act. This is just the tip of the iceberg as the legalization of marijuana will reach far and wide into many facets of our lives.
So, what is your opinion? Are you a landlord? Are you a tenant? Tell me what you think.