Cannabis legalization an issue for homebuyers?
Real estate associations face a very new set of problems when it comes to weed by Jeffrey Sandford
As the era of legal marijuana draws near, Ontario real estate professionals are demanding the government do something to protect homeowners from a possible boom in grow-ops that could damage the province’s housing stock.
The federal government is set to legalize marijuana this summer. Although no specific date has been set for retail stores to open, it looks like August will be the month for marijuana.
In response, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) recently submitted five recommendations to the provincial government for new rules that would protect unsuspecting buyers from acquiring a property damaged by cannabis cultivation.
“Legalization is going to lead to more pot being grown in homes,” said David Reid, president, OREA.
“We know cannabis cultivation in residential properties can create serious health and safety issues around mould and electrical systems that have been tampered with. Homeowners need rules that protect buyers against the risk that they might end up buying a former grow-op.”
OREA is suggesting licensed home inspectors be trained to spot the telltale signs that a home was once a grow-op.
The organization also recommends the government designate buildings that have been used for illegal grow operations as “unsafe” under the Ontario Building Code Act, that a municipal building inspection be completed after a home is declared unsafe and that municipalities be required to register remediation work orders on the title of former grow operations.
Interestingly, the OREA report also recommends that the suggested federal regulation that Canadians be allowed to grow “four plants per house” be curtailed.
“We also need a restriction on the number of plants that a homeowner can grow from four to one in units 1,000 square feet or smaller,” said Reid.
Growing cannabis indoors often involves creating conditions with high humidity and high
Denise Lash, principal, Lash Condo Law