With states passing recreational pot laws in the last election cycle, the use of marijuana by renters has once again been forced into the spotlight for landlords.
It's not just recreational use that is up for debate, however, as more states than ever before are allowing medicinal uses of marijuana for specific medical issues.
Do these marijuana smokers have specific rights as tenants that must be followed by landlords?
In Most Cases, the Answer Is Actually No
Marijuana use, even for medical purposes, will typically fall into a good no smoking policy that is part of any leasing agreement.
The specificity of the no smoking policy will either protect you fully or not protect you at all, especially when it comes to legal use.
Including vaporizers and other odor-causing non-smoking forms of marijuana under a smoke-free policy and incorporating tobacco use into them will often give you the greatest legal protection.
As for edibles and other marijuana products, the problem that landlords in Colorado and Washington may face is the fact that the drug has been legalized.
Many rental agreements include language that causes illegal drug use to be something that can lead to an eviction, but in these two specific states marijuana has been removed from the equation.
It is now similar to alcohol and so if it is been used legally in a non-smoking way, there is really nothing a landlord can do in these two states to prevent its use.
Is There An Exception To This Rule?
The one exception to the rule of marijuana smoking and a tenant's rights involves whether or not they are using the pot to help with a specific disability.
If they are, then federal law requires a landlord to accommodate this need as long as it doesn't cause an unreasonable burden on their business.
The request for an accommodation would need to be made in writing by the tenant and is usually part of the initial application process.
If there is a disability that develops over the course of a rental agreement that would require smoking marijuana, the request for an accommodation can be made at that time and a landlord must follow it, again with the stipulation that it doesn't cause an undue burden.
If there is no disability, you can insist on the no smoking policy for marijuana to be observed and issue complaint letters if the behavior continues.
If there is a disability, you may want to back off and try to find a mutually beneficial decision.
The ability to let one renter smoke and no one else is a great way to let everyone in a rental complex legally break their leases and leave a landlord flat broke.
By knowing what is and is not allowed in the area of marijuana smoking, you can create good policies and excellent language in your rental agreements that will let everyone find a way to co-exist peacefully while minimizing damage to the unit being rented.
When it comes to having a tenant for the first time, it can be pretty daunting because you are going to be the corresponding landlord and a new relationship will emerge, which will need time to grow... More
The landlord and tenant laws in California are literally the same as they are in any other state. These laws, rules and regulations are put into practice because they uphold an order, a discipline,... More
People are aware that there are different rulings in each state with reference to the landlord/tenant laws. The state of Illinois also has a set of laws. These rules and regulations are basically... More
All landlords know that before they can formally become a landlord there are a lot of things they need to understand. Landlords and tenants cannot act as such without any legal bodies involved. That... More
When entering into an agreement with a potential tenant, a landlord needs to fully understand the contract that binds them into the specific relationship of being a landlord and a tenant. Now that the... More
If you’re currently considering the option of offering one of your properties for rental purposes, you should first educate yourself about the landlord tenant relationship. For the first timers, it’s... More
Landlords have many things to think of; they have to deal with legal issues, privacy issues, and so much more. Above all, they sometimes need to deal with a problem tenant. The interesting thing is... More
Most landlords may have some idea what an Estoppel Certificate is. However, many aspiring landlords are still unaware of what this certificate is all about. Basically, a tenant Estoppel Certificate is... More
Landlords have a lot of administrative work to do when they have tenants. It seems easy to let people come and live in your home, have them pay the monthly rent and carry out your daily activities.... More
There are a whole bunch of myths about lease agreements that most people believe that are simply not true: You can't rent a property without lease agreement – Actually there are laws in every state... More