Know Your Rights When Tenants Use Marijuana on Rental Property

Most people have strong feelings about marijuana use, and that includes property owners. If you’re concerned about your tenants using marijuana on rental property, you’re not alone. Many property owners share similar concerns. 

You may be able to legally prohibit the use of marijuana on your property, but this requires learning more about the laws in your state.

When Is the Use of Marijuana on Rental Property Illegal?

Before you make a policy for your tenants regarding marijuana use on your property, it will be helpful to research the laws in your state. At this point, laws vary greatly from state to state regarding the legality of marijuana use. Some states have fully legalized the drug, while others have only legalized it for medical use. 

Many states have not changed their laws at all. This means that marijuana use in your state may still be prohibited by law under any circumstances. 

If this is the case, prohibiting the use of marijuana on your rental property will be required by law. As the property owner, you’ll be complying with state laws by preventing your tenants from using marijuana on your property.

This simplifies matters for you as a property owner since you’re only abiding by the laws of your state. When a tenant moves into one of your rental units, you should have them sign an agreement that acknowledges the illegality of smoking marijuana. This will ensure your tenants know the act is illegal.

Make sure your tenants also know the penalties for breaking the law. The agreement they sign should explicitly define those penalties. 

If you have a policy of reporting criminal activity to the police, make sure your tenants know this includes the illegal use of marijuana on your property. If you plan to impose fines or other penalties, make those terms clear as well.

When marijuana use is legal for recreational or medical use, your options as a property owner are more limited. Legal use of the drug can’t be reported to the police, so this isn’t an option you can use to get the compliance of your tenants. Most renters will already know when they can legally use the drug if they currently smoke marijuana.

You can still control the use of marijuana on rental property. A legal and effective method for prohibiting marijuana smoking in your rental use is to prohibit all smoking. 

If your state has a smoking ban on indoor places, you can extend that ban to your rental unit. When you issue notices of your “no smoking” policy, make sure to express that the ban includes smoking marijuana and vaping. 

State laws that prohibit smoking can be tricky, so you should look them up in advance. 

Some states are vague and don’t describe what is meant by smoking. Other states specifically prohibit the smoking of tobacco products. There are also states that have updated their laws to reflect the changing times by also specifying the smoking of marijuana.

As the property owner, you can legally ban smoking on your property in almost any situation. This is because smoking can be a nuisance for property owners by creating permanent odors and staining the walls of the rental unit. It also poses a health hazard to other tenants by spreading secondhand smoke through vents and ducts.

Can a Property Owner Evict a Tenant for Smoking Marijuana?

When you find that a tenant has been using marijuana on rental property, you may want to take swift action. Whether you can evict your tenant will depend on the manner in which you prohibit smoking. If the smoking ban was included in the lease, you could file for eviction based on a breach of the lease’s terms.

You might run into problems with an eviction if the smoking ban is not mentioned in the lease. If the ban is only mentioned in the rules and regulations for the property, obtaining a legal eviction may be more challenging. In that case, you will have to document and prove that the tenant has violated the smoking ban multiple times.

You can learn more about the laws governing the use of marijuana on rental property by contacting a lawyer in your community. They will know the laws regarding this issue and give you more specific advice. Through the services of a lawyer, you can make sure your tenants will abide by your rules regarding marijuana use.

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