Residential Leases and Marijuana Use

The Canadian Federal Government is legalizing recreational marijuana use the year. The issue of marijuana use in rental units is an issue residential landlords need to be aware of.

The Ontario Provincial Government has indicated it will ban the use of recreational marijuana in public spaces and workplaces, allowing it only in private residences. The Province says that medical marijuana use will be permitted anywhere that cigarette smoking is allowed.

How does the legalization of marijuana affect the residential landlord? Any lease a landlord currently has in effect cannot be changed to reflect that marijuana use is not allowed. However, the Government advised that if your lease has a term that cigarette smoking is not permitted, that term will most likely also apply to marijuana use. It will be interesting to see how the Landlord and Tenant Board will interpret a no smoking term to marijuana use.

Many leases are unfortunately silent on smoking, which will become an issue if the landlord does not want marijuana use at their premises. It can be very expensive to repair a unit where a tenant was smoking marijuana in the unit.
When entering into a new lease with a tenant, make sure your terms are up-to-date to ensure that your investment is protected.

If you would like us to review your current leases, would like assistance in drafting a new lease for future tenants, give us a call, and we would be more than happy to assist you.

Murray S. Brown, Paralegal