No smok­ing in the build­ing – of any kind

Kentville-based rental prop­erty com­pany won’t al­low pot smok­ing, cul­ti­va­tion in apart­ments


The up­com­ing le­gal­iza­tion of recre­ational cannabis use could pose a headache for the own­ers of res­i­den­tial rental prop­er­ties.

As part of the leg­isla­tive frame­work an­nounced by the Prov­ince of Nova Sco­tia on April 3, land­lords will be given the au­thor­ity to amend leases to put rea­son­able rules in place about recre­ational cannabis smok­ing and cul­ti­va­tion. Land­lords must pro­vide four months’ no­tice of this change to the ten­ant be­fore April 30, 2019.

When the land­lord pro­vides this no­tice, the ten­ant may choose to ter­mi­nate the lease. The ten­ant has one month to give the land­lord three months’ no­tice to ter­mi­nate.

Kentville-based Kent Fields Es­tates owns ap­prox­i­mately 600 rental units in Kentville, Ber­wick, Wolfville and Bridge­wa­ter. Se­nior prop­erty man­ager Edith Har­ring­ton said the com­pany went smokefree two years ago in the ma­jor­ity of its build­ings, al­though smok­ing is al­lowed on out­door decks. The rule is not spe­cific to to­bacco; it’s for all com­bustible ma­te­ri­als.

Con­sid­er­ing that, Har­ring­ton doesn’t be­lieve it will be nec­es­sary for Kent Fields to open its leases to renegotiation on the is­sue of smok­ing mar­i­juana.

“I don’t think we should be­cause we do have the no smok­ing pol­icy, and that’s on all our leases, no smok­ing in the build­ing,” Har­ring­ton said.

She views Kent Fields as set­ting a trend in the Val­ley when it comes to mak­ing its rental prop­er­ties smoke-free. Har­ring­ton was sur­prised to learn at a meet­ing held by the In­vest­ment Prop­erty Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nova Sco­tia on the topic of le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana last July that so many rental prop­er­ties in the Hal­i­fax area have no non-smok­ing pol­icy in place.

In units with­out a non-smok­ing pol­icy in place, she said, there are is­sues sur­round­ing smoke-free apart­ments - land­lords can’t is­sue an evic­tion if a ten­ant is caught in con­tra­ven­tion. The mat­ter must be taken to the Res­i­den­tial Ten­an­cies Board first.

“It sort of keeps us into the sys­tem with the Res­i­den­tial Ten­an­cies con­stantly, even though we have a pol­icy that says no smok­ing,” Har­ring­ton said.

She said cul­ti­vat­ing cannabis presents an­other is­sue for Kent Fields, es­pe­cially when it comes to prop­erty in­sur­ance. The busi­ness plans to say no to al­low­ing ten­ants to grow weed in apart­ments, al­though they haven’t put any rules or reg­u­la­tions in place yet.

Har­ring­ton said lease­hold­ers could choose to opt out over this de­ci­sion. If not be­ing al­lowed to grow cannabis in apart­ments poses that much of an is­sue, she hopes that they will opt out. One is­sue is that it isn’t manda­tory for lease­hold­ers to carry ten­ant in­sur­ance, al­though Kent Fields asks that they get it.


Kent Fields Es­tates won’t be al­low­ing recre­ational cannabis smok­ing or pot cul­ti­va­tion in its apart­ments.

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