It can be an expensive mistake to allow your residential tenant to grow marijuana on your property.
Is a landlord required to allow cultivation if the tenant holds a medical marijuana license?
I have recently been asked if a landlord is required to allow their tenant to grow marijuana in their rental if the tenant has a valid California medicinal marijuana card. The tenant claimed that by not allowing him to cultivate on the property, the landlord was engaging in disability discrimination. The tenant was wrong, under no circumstances is a landlord required to allow the cultivation, or use, of marijuana on their premises.
Reasons to say no to a tenants request to cultivate marijuana.
In fact, I advise my residential landlord clients to deny any tenant's request to cultivate marijuana. First, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and a landlord may risk government forfeiture of their property for allowing the cultivation of marijuana on the property. Secondly, many cities have expressly stated that it is illegal to cultivate marijuana in residential areas of the city. Therefore, if you do allow a tenant to cultivate marijuana, and the police find out, you may face legal action against you for allowing a public nuisance at your property. If this happens, you may face expensive fines and legal costs. Third, marijuana cultivation may cause extensive property damage. Indoor marijuana cultivation requires water and heat. Water leaks can cause damage to the walls, floors and mold. Heat lamps can cause fires. It can be an expensive mistake to allow a tenant to cultivate marijuana in your rental property.
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