CFAA calls for a re-think of marijuana growing in rented dwellings

20 April 2017

The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations is disappointed with the government’s Bill to legalize and regulate marijuana. In a single family home, what an owner-occupant does largely affects only themselves, whereas in multi-unit dwellings, an occupant’s actions in one unit can very often have significant effect on the occupants of other units.

The public needs to be educated that the legalization of marijuana does not mean that it can be smoked anywhere at any time. As the Task Force recommended, smoking marijuana should be banned anywhere that smoking tobacco is banned. In addition, landlords should be able to ban the smoking of tobacco or the smoking of marijuana. Different segments of the population have different views of what is acceptable regarding tobacco smoking or marijuana smoking, and landlords should be able to provide their customers what they want, which should provide choice in the rental market.

Growing marijuana in multi-unit or rented dwellings is even more problematic than marijuana smoking. Concerns include:

  • Electrical safety hazards
  • Interference with other tenants, especially during the budding phase
  • Potential damage to the building through mould
  • Potential liability for the landlord and risk to the tenants and mortgage holder
  • Potential cancellation of building insurance, or the calling of a mortgage, with financially disastrous results for an innocent building owner.

CFAA urges Parliament to amend the marijuana Bill to prohibit all marijuana growing in multiunit dwellings, and in rented dwellings of any size.

CFAA President John Dickie says, “Either the federal government or the provincial governments need to ban all marijuana growing in multi-unit dwellings, and in rented dwellings of any size, so that other tenants and building owners do not face interference with their lawful rights and interests.”

David Hutniak, CFAA Chair and CEO of LandlordBC, says, “I am disappointed that the concerns of rental housing providers seem to have been ignored in the new federal marijuana bill. We will need to work with our respective provinces who control zoning rules, landlord-tenant law and insurance issues, and who are to be responsible for regulating the new marijuana distribution system.”