Cannabis and your Rental

Cannabis and your rental

On October 17, 2018, non-medical cannabis was legalized under the federal Cannabis Act and section 14 of the provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. This new legislation has changed and imposed new concerns for both landlords and tenants alike.

While landlords generally try to remain inclusive and abide by bylaws, it is important to know what has been grandfathered and what changes you need to make if you wish to prohibit cannabis use on your property.

For tenants, it is important to discuss this new legislation with your landlord if you have concerns or are wishing to make amendments to your existing lease agreement.

 New Tenancies

For tenancies that were entered after the Cannabis Control Date, landlords must include terms that specifically prohibit the use and growing of cannabis and cannot rely on the retro-active prohibition if they wish cannabis to be banned from their rental property. Any agreement entered after the Cannabis Control Date will be considered to allow smoking and growing cannabis unless there is a clause that specifically prohibits these actions.

The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act” is the new set of acts that govern on a variety of issues surrounding the growing, distribution, sale, and use of recreational cannabis in British Columbia. For the health, safety and accommodation of both tenant and landlord, it is crucial to review and understand these bylaws and make clear delineations throughout the leasing agreement.

Tenancies with agreements that are silent on the topic of smoking will be considered to allow the smoking of cannabis. The Residential Tenancy Act allows landlords and tenants to agree to terms in new tenancy agreements provided these new terms do not violate the Act.

Existing Tenancies

Tenancies entered prior to the legalization of non medical cannabis will fall under a retro-active prohibition on the growing, cultivation, and harvest of cannabis in all rental units across BC. This ban on growing cannabis in rental units has been in place to allow landlords to retain the right to determine how their property is used.

The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act states that all tenancy agreements entered into before the legalization are considered to prohibit the growing, cultivation, and harvesting of cannabis in the rental units, regardless of whether the agreement has a clause that already includes this prohibition. Detailed information on cannabis bylaws can be found at Residential Tenancy Act.

The Takeaway

With cannabis legalization drawing heated debates in any circle, it is important for both landlords and tenants to understand their rights and obligations. For landlords looking for expert advice and property management services, contact Rent it Furnished’ s Licenced Team of experts here.