How Cannabis legalization will affect condo rental properties and Toronto real estate?
How cannabis legalization will affect condo rental properties and Toronto real estate?
As of October 17th, 2018, the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will take effect which will provide for the legalization of recreational use of marijuana. Many details of the regulations will be left up to the provinces and municipalities to enforce. For Ontario, individuals must be 19 or older to be pemitted to smoke or grow up to 4 cannabis plants in their private residence. The current Residential Tenancies Act does not prohibit smoking or vaping of cannabis in a rental unit.
Cannabis-Free Environment Rules in Condominiums
Condo corporations have the option to amend the declaration or condo by-laws under Section 58 of the Condo Act. Several condominium boards and corporations have already taken the steps to amend current condo by-laws to restrict smoking and vaping of cannabis in common areas and residental units, with the exemption of "medical designate unit" where the occupant may be granted permission to smoke or grow medical cannabis subject to different rules under Human Rights Law. The new rules of banning the smoking and cultivating of cannabis within common areas and suites primarily aim to promote the safety, security, and welfare of occupants and owners, as well as the assets of the corporation.
How this affects rental units for Landlords under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
Currently, under Section 64 of the Residential Tenancies Act does not provide enough grounds for banning tobacco or marijuana smoking to fully protect Landlords. Smoking restrictions of cannibis may fall under the Ontario Smoke Free Act, but until that happens, it will be left to the condo by-law and landlords to set rules. Prior to signing an offer to lease, it is usually made clear by the landlord if the unit is a smoke free unit,. Both parties would typically move forward with the lease in good faith with a "no smoking on premise" clause provided in the lease agreement. Only if the tenant commits an illegal act under Section 61 of the RTA or violates the condo rules and regulations will a landlord have the grounds to terminate the lease. So this is still a bit of a gray area.
Leasing your condo unit
The legalization of recreational marijuana will raise a lot of questions for Landlords in the coming years while the changes in regulations, rules and by-laws are being tested. When leasing your condo unit, speak to an experience leasing agent and the condo property management to address your concerns and understand what falls within your legal rights as a Landlords.
Anne Lok is a Toronto Real Estate Broker with over 14 years of experience in all aspect of residential real estate from modern houses, infill development from acquisition to design and construction, condos, lofts and rental properties in urban Toronto neighbourhoods. Anne aims to provide not only the best client service, but also a genuine authentic experience that will match your expectations. You can search modern listings and learn more about Anne at urburbia.ca.