November 24th, 2012
If Your Tenants Get Charged For Having a Grow Op in Ontario the Bill Will Go to the Landlord So Make Sure You Read These Tips to Save You a Headache and Money
According to a news article at Yorkregion.com, councillors in Markham, Ontario and York Region Police have come up with a new plan to get landlords to pay the bill for tenants who start grow-ops in a rental property. This is another reason why tenant screening is of vital importance for small landlords.
What are the Details of this Plan?
The goal of the plan is to stop the number of grow-ops in the region.
York Regional Police will first charge the landlord an administration fee of $1,000. This will be part of the fees paid to remove any illegal drugs, fix any tampering with hydro metres, remove booby-traps and vent the home to improve the quality of air in the unit.
Will the Landlord Have to Pay for The Actual Investigation?
The Mayor of Markham Frank Scarpittle said the fees will only be charged for the actual ‘clean up’ of the property
What if the Landlord Doesn’t Pay?
The fees will be sent to the landlord. If the landlord doesn’t pay voluntarily, the bill will be put on their property taxes.
Are Grow Ops a Big Problem in York Region?
In 2010 there were 39 grow-ops growign marijuana in York Region. There were 30 last year and already 23 this year.
Also, there have been 9 illegal chemical grow ops found in the past three years.
How Can A Landlord Know Their Tenants Have a Grow-Op?
A few councillors were hesitant to make landlords responsible when it’s the tenants who control their own utilities. This makes it difficult for landlords to know if there are grow ops in their investment properties.
That’s Right. And Tenants Can Take the Landlord To the Landlord and Tenant Board For Harassment
There are sure signs of an illegal grow-op, such as blacked out windows, no garbage or recycling placed on the curb, lack of snow on the roof and frequent visitors at irregular hours. If you have tenants who you suspect may be up to no good it’s important to get experienced professionals to help you deal with them…before the police do (and you pay).
Here are some tips:
1. Tenant Screening
Make sure you know who you are renting to. If possible, do a check on the potential tenant to see if they have any criminal background.
2. Tenant Insurance
Make sure you see proof tenants have insurance before handing over the key. Put this in your lease.
3. Monitor Your Rental Property
Do regular drive-bys. Make regular inspections part of your lease.
If your tenants are going to pay for their own utility usage, make sure you know which tenant is going to have the account in their name.
Get to know your neighbours. Give them your contact information in case they see anything suspicious going on.
Here are some suspicious things you should always be aware of:
6. Is Anyone Home
If your rental property doesn’t look like anyone is actually living there, it’s a red flag.
Are there visitors at strange hours?
Are windows (especially in the basement) boarded up?
9. What Stinks?
Are there any strange smells coming from the property? Particularly anything smelling something similar to a skunk.
10. Hydro Metres
Has anyone messed with the hydro metres?