Manitoba landlord group wants feds to let them decide if tenants can grow pot

Manitoba landlord group wants feds to let them decide if tenants can grow pot

A group representing Manitoba landlords said they want the federal government to weed out a section of proposed legislation that would let Canadians grow up to four marijuana plants at home.

The Professional Property Managers Association, which represents nearly 100 Manitoba landlords, said concerns among property owners are growing about the Liberals' marijuana legalization bill tabled last week.

"They aren't taking into account the fact that we have these units which are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Avrom Charach a spokesperson for the organization.

The new legislation would let consumers grow up to four plants at home, but the government has not said if landlords will be able to prohibit tenants from growing pot in their apartments.

Landlords currently have little recourse available if a tenant is growing medical marijuana and aren't required to be told if it's happening, Charach said.

Complaints about 'sweet-smelling smoke'

Charach, who is also a landlord, said he already gets complaints from tenants who don't like the smell of pot coming from their neighbours' apartments.

"I will get five complaints about sweet-smelling smoke for every one complaint I get about cigarette-smelling smoke in an apartment building," he said.

The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations, which represents property owners across the country, is calling on the federal government to ban pot from being allowed to grow in apartments, condos and co-operatives.

Charach said landlords are worried about potential damage costs caused by tenants growing plants in apartments.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't be allowed to set a reasonable rule of not allowing lots of marijuana plants," he said.

Growing marijuana can cause lasting damage inside homes due to the moisture from the pot plants, which create mould and spores in walls, ceilings and floors, Charach said. 

While the federal government's legislation isn't allowing larger scale growing operations, Charach said he's still worried about damage that could come from the production of the plants.

Charach added there's concern about the heat and light required to grow the plants which could lead to an excess amount of electricity being used.

"We're not concerned about marijuana the plant, we're concerned about damage and disturbance," he said.

The bill still has to be passed by the House of Commons and Senate, with the government hoping to make marijuana legal by July 1, 2018.