BC landlords want ban on growing weed in rental units

Apr 19 2017, 2:48 pm

With recently tabled legislation aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada, the association that represents BC landlords is voicing concerns about home-based production of the product.

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“A multi-unit residential building, in particular, be it a purpose-built rental or a strata building (condo) are not, in our view, an appropriate place for the growing of cannabis,” said David Hutniak, CEO of LandlordBC.

Hutinak told Daily Hive there are three significant issues that could arise from growing and cultivating marijuana on rental properties.

First, he said, is “our responsibility to other tenants under the Residential Tenancy Act to the quiet enjoyment of their home, which is infringed upon primarily from the odour that is produced when growing, processing and smoking marijuana.”

Secondly, he continued, there’s potential for “damage to the rental unit due to the high intensity lighting and humidity associated with growing this product.”

And finally, Hutinak explained, there exists “the potential for insurance to be cancelled and/or mortgage to be withdrawn by the insurer and bank respectively.”

In light of these concerns, LandLordBC wants to see a band on marijuana cultivation in rental properties.

Asked if he thought whether a possible compromise between landlords and renters could be reached on the issue, Hutinak responded “not really.”

In his mind, there isn’t much of a need for home-based production anyway.

“The Federal government in collaboration with the Provincial governments are preparing to implement a robust distribution system for the legal purchase of cannabis which, in our view, will provide all the necessary access to the product,” he explained.

Additionally, he said, with low vacancy rates and the “huge challenge” of delivering affordable rental housing, “now is not the time to be inconveniencing other tenants and putting rental properties at risk for their owners.”

The issue could potentially be revisited down the line “perhaps in 4 to 5 years,” said Hutinak. But at this point in time, “we feel an outright ban is called for.”

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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