When purchasing a new home, the history of that home can influence its value and future renovation needs. Ontario real estate agents are raising concerns about their clients buying homes that are former marijuana grow-ops. They say that following legalization of pot across Canada, the lack of regulations protecting homebuyers from buying former grow-ops may be an increasing problem.
The Ontario Real Estate Association believes that legalization will increase the problem of people unknowingly purchasing former grow-ops. Homes with this history can come with significant health and safety issues for the new buyers, which are often undetected before purchase. If sellers hide the past of the home, buyers and realtors may fail to see issues related to marijuana growing such as mould and fungus.
The Ontario Real Estate Association wants the government to restrict the number of plants people can grow at home. They recommend that a person in a condominium or apartment unit under 1,000 square feet be limited to a single plant. Currently, the limit for growing the substance at home is four, even for smaller homes. The group is also advocating for home inspectors to be better trained in spotting the signs of a former marijuana grow operation.
Disclosure issues are some of the most common legal challenges faced by Ontario real estate buyers and sellers. Buyers should be cautious to thoroughly check for health and safety hazards, including looking for signs of a former grow-operation. Those who have bought a home under pretenses or who need help drafting a conditional offer on a home should work with a lawyer.
Source: BNN, “Ontario realtors call for stronger protections against marijuana grow-ops,” Shawn Jeffords, April 9, 2018