Landlords call for right to ban pot in rentals despite tenant laws, Ontario

Published on : January 22, 2018 11:16




(FILES) In this July 4, 2014 file photo, a vendor weighs buds for card-carrying medical marijuana patients attending Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary, in Los Angeles, California. Support for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida gathered steam ahead of a November referendum, with a poll outon July 28, 2014 showing 88 percent in favor of the measure. Only 10 percent of residents opposed legalization, the survey by Quinnipiac University found. Floridians across all age ranges and genders, as well as both Democrats and Republicans, polled more in favor than against legalization, it said. Florida took a preliminary step in that direction in May when the state legislature allowed a variety of marijuana called "Charlotte's web," which contains a minimal amount of the drug's main psychoactive substance, to be used to treat diseases like epilepsy and cancer. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWNFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: Medical m Marijuana options ORG XMIT: POS1407281007544660 // 0307 ed kline

Ontario landlords want the right to immediately ban the use of pot in rental properties when recreational weed is legalized this summer, arguing they should be allowed to change tenants’ existing leases to stop the drug from being consumed in their units.

Some marijuana users say, however, that the situation would leave renters with few places to legally use weed, given the province’s already restrictive rules around the drug.

Under rules announced in the fall, the province plans a ban on recreational pot consumption in public spaces and workplaces, allowing it only in private residences.

The legislation says that Medical marijuana use will be permitted anywhere that cigarette smoking is allowed.

Landlords will be able to spell out a ban on smoking marijuana in rental units for new leases post-legalization — the same as they do for tobacco use — but the province’s tenancy laws make it illegal to change a lease before it ends.

John Dickie, president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations said , “That means in some cases, until an existing lease runs out, landlords would be unable to regulate marijuana use in their properties. ” He added that landlords are concerned about the impact a spike in pot smoking will have on other tenants in rental properties.

He said, “(The province is) not going to allow marijuana to be smoked in public areas, so where the heck are people going to smoke marijuana? Well they’re going to do it in their apartments.The problem is, just like when they smoke tobacco, the smell goes to neighbouring apartments. Buildings are not hermetically sealed.”

It can cost $5,000-6,000 to get the smell of marijuana smoke out of apartment walls and floors, said Dan Henderson, president of the DelSuites property management firm in Toronto.

Dickie and Henderson both argue Ontario landlords should be allowed to immediately prohibit tenants from smoking marijuana in their units, even if the tenants are mid-lease.

The Government says that the Landlords have the right to include stipulations banning tobacco smoke when drafting a lease but if they do not, a tenant can smoke in their own unit. Those rules will likely apply to marijuana when it is legalized.