Author Topic: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?  (Read 7203 times)

MountainFlower

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Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« on: January 14, 2014, 03:14:36 PM »
I saw a craigslist ad for someone looking to rent a basement for a marijuana grow operation.  This is Colorado, so I'm assuming that this person has a license to grow.  They are offering A LOT of money (up to $3000/month) for this. 

We have a 1500 sq ft basement that we think about renting out to a conventional renter, but obviously this type of renter generates 2 - 3x  more income.  However, what comes along with it?  What are the risks? 

Would you do it?  I have no moral issue with marijuana and I voted for the legalization. 

Indio

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 03:29:56 PM »
I dont live in CO so i don't really know the laws around growing weed. However, I am a gardener that has experimented with hydroponics, growing plants in water. The biggest issue from a growing perspective would be electricity. Growing indoors requires lights with specific light bulbs that produce different light spectrums. These are huge energy hogs. If the difference in your electric bill was included in the space rental that could greatly reduce your profit margin. You would also want to be careful that it doesnt create a fire hazard by overloading your electrical system, assuming that is a problem.
Then there is the water. It would depend if they were growing the plants in soil or in water, but your water bill could also increase. I dont know what kind of pesticides or fertilizers would be used, but this could be an issue if there are any smells. Growing indoors usually limits the number of bugs that attack your plants, and frankly, i dont know what eats pot plants, but you would want to make sure they arent using anything toxic that could pose a health hazard to your family. There might also be waste disposal associated with growing that might require composting or trash removal.
The biggest issue of all, would be whether or not your home could become a target for crime. If you have a separate entrance for them to access the space and if you can restrict access to the upstairs.

TrMama

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 03:36:44 PM »
Mold. From my understanding (BC) any home that's been a grow up basically becomes a tear down. Filling a home with a bunch of humid plants causes mold. Kiss all your drywall and finishings goodbye.

This sounds fishy. Why aren't they looking for a greenhouse? That's where plants are supposed to grow.

Home Stretch

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 03:39:54 PM »
First off, this question made me chuckle. Times, they are a changin' when you can ask questions like this legitimately.

I would second the concerns raised by Indio. As far as actually addressing them, you could always get the basement wired to a different circuit and hooked up to a different water meter, which are probably things you would want to do regardless of whether you're renting to a grower or to a regular tenant.

You also need to consider if there are any zoning laws in your municipality that would restrict the operation of a commercial venture or agricultural business in your specific residential area.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 03:41:46 PM »
After I talked to a lawyer, local law enforcement, a general contractor, a plumber, an electrician, the zoning board and an environmental remediation contractor about potential hazards and pitfalls, I might consider doing it.

Greg

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 03:46:05 PM »
Also talk to your insurance agent, and consider that an indoor pot growing area is subject to break-ins.  And the smell would be pretty strong.

Allen

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 03:52:35 PM »
Personally, with the federal laws still not on board with the CO laws, I would stay far far away from this.  It adds risk to your house which is a huge danger in my mind.  I might be too risk averse but I just can't see good coming out of it for you.

arebelspy

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 04:23:14 PM »
Personally, with the federal laws still not on board with the CO laws, I would stay far far away from this.  It adds risk to your house which is a huge danger in my mind.  I might be too risk averse but I just can't see good coming out of it for you.

This would be my primary concern (though the others raised above are legit too).  Feds have said they won't crack down on people carrying where it's legal, but do you trust that policy to stay?

I'd hate to do something illegal federally and spend prison time for a little bit of cash.
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Greg

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 04:28:20 PM »
I'd hate to do something illegal federally and spend prison time for a little bit of cash.

Or lose your house.  Maybe there's a reason the person advertizing doesn't want to/can't do it at home.  Seems like DEA folks love showing off their seized property.

Eric

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 04:28:42 PM »
There are limits to what constitutes legal growing, correct?  I thought (not positive) that it was something like 6 plants per person.  However, this grow operation would be much larger I assume.  That would make it a commercial grow and not a personal grow.  Therefore, unless the grower has the necessary permits, and from what I've read they've only issued a handful of them so far, they're breaking the law the same as before 1/1/14.

I'd contact a lawyer before taking the plunge if you can get past the smell, moisture, & electric usage issues.

Cromacster

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 04:41:15 PM »
If it all checks out legally and such..... Charge more like 10,000 plus utilities.  For a business such as this there is still other risks as stated before breakins might be more likely and theres s no guarantee you won't be raided by the feds.  Also, this isn't your grandmas hosta thats growing its marijauna, and it smells like a skunks ass.  So consider that.

The amount that can be grown in 1500sqft is significant. 

jrs

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 04:50:17 PM »
Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation? 
No.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 04:54:18 PM »
I'd hate to do something illegal federally and spend prison time for a little bit of cash.

Or lose your house.  Maybe there's a reason the person advertizing doesn't want to/can't do it at home.  Seems like DEA folks love showing off their seized property.

Both prison time and asset forfeiture would be huge concerns for me. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The feds could choose to crack down on your grow house at any time, for any reason, without warning. There's nothing stopping President Obama from backtracking on his promises about marijuana tomorrow, but I would be especially worried about a change in policy if a Republican wins the White House in 2016.

If you're not familiar with the concept of "civil asset forfeiture," you should look it up. Basically the government can take any property that's involved with the drug trade and auction it off. This happens in a separate legal proceeding from any charges brought against people; there's not even a requirement that a person be convicted of any crime at all for the assets to be deemed "guilty" of supporting illegal activity and forfeited.

Rural

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 05:06:33 PM »
I'd hate to do something illegal federally and spend prison time for a little bit of cash.

Or lose your house.  Maybe there's a reason the person advertizing doesn't want to/can't do it at home.  Seems like DEA folks love showing off their seized property.

Both prison time and asset forfeiture would be huge concerns for me. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The feds could choose to crack down on your grow house at any time, for any reason, without warning. There's nothing stopping President Obama from backtracking on his promises about marijuana tomorrow, but I would be especially worried about a change in policy if a Republican wins the White House in 2016.

If you're not familiar with the concept of "civil asset forfeiture," you should look it up. Basically the government can take any property that's involved with the drug trade and auction it off. This happens in a separate legal proceeding from any charges brought against people; there's not even a requirement that a person be convicted of any crime at all for the assets to be deemed "guilty" of supporting illegal activity and forfeited.

+1

Daleth

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 06:53:04 PM »
After I talked to a lawyer, local law enforcement, a general contractor, a plumber, an electrician, the zoning board and an environmental remediation contractor about potential hazards and pitfalls, I might consider doing it.

After I talked to all of those people, if they gave the green light (or the yellow light with a few things to change/fix that I thought I could swing), I would definitely do it! Heck yeah. Who wouldn't rather have a bunch of plants paying double the rent, rather than a potentially noisy person paying half that?

vern

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 11:17:54 PM »
I'd be more worried about being targeted by criminals than the feds.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/11/colorado-pot-shops-likely-targets-cartels-say-experts/

msilenus

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2014, 12:07:28 AM »
Stay The Shit Away.

I have a friend who leased some farmland, and his tenants sublet out to pot growers without his knowledge.  This is in CA, where medical Marijuana is legal under state law, but of course, the Feds don't agree, and his local Sheriff's office reflects the conservative values of his Central Valley county.  The guy was land rich, but cash and income poor, so when he started getting pressured from the feds to evict, and his (much more liquid than him!) sub-tenants started threatening to make a civil liberties case of if he did, he really didn't know who to side with, and didn't feel like he could afford a lawyer.  He couldn't fathom that asset forfeiture laws could possibly be as draconian and unreasonable as they are.  He'd read the Bill of Rights and everything.  So for a couple months he was more afraid of his tenants than the DEA.  He made every mistake imaginable.  He even did an interview with local media, and they royally fucked him by running the piece in a way that stressed some unintentionally provocative thing he said about the Feds when he was angling for the story to come off as a fig leaf to them.  I didn't know one could laugh in horror until I saw the piece.

I don't know how the whole situation turned out because I don't see him a lot these days, and his last post to Facebook was about how he was going to finally talk to a lawyer later that day.  He owned that land free and clear, and if it hasn't been seized, it's because some local Federal enforcer was much nicer than they had to be.

As a bonus, now his local Sheriff's office thinks he's some local kingpin in league with Los Zetas, so his life is more interesting in a police-crime-drama sort of way.  So there's that.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 12:11:16 AM by msilenus »

MountainFlower

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2014, 07:05:16 AM »
Okay, so that's 15 votes against (including a horrible cautionary tale) and 1 qualified maybe.  I get it:  Not a good idea!   

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.  You've all offered some great advice.  The crime was really my biggest concern as I have two kids, but the other reasons are just as bad if not worse, so I'll pass for now.


AlmostIndependent

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2014, 10:44:21 AM »
I'd hate to do something illegal federally and spend prison time for a little bit of cash.

Or lose your house.  Maybe there's a reason the person advertizing doesn't want to/can't do it at home.  Seems like DEA folks love showing off their seized property.

This.

AlanStache

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2014, 11:01:49 AM »
Why rent the space out when you can do the growing yourself and really maximize profits!!  This would also let you limit the size of the operation and who knew about it (security).  (mostly joking - commercial pot operations in your home sounds like a bad idea for the time being for a number of reasons).

MountainFlower

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2014, 11:28:43 AM »
Why rent the space out when you can do the growing yourself and really maximize profits!!  This would also let you limit the size of the operation and who knew about it (security).  (mostly joking - commercial pot operations in your home sounds like a bad idea for the time being for a number of reasons).

This is a valid question.  We've thought about it, and we actually know people who do this for a living and have for decades.  Growing marijuana is actually an artform and not that simple; there is a learning curve there that could take years to perfect.  It would also involve a large investment in equipment.  Between the investment and the learning curve, I think we'll pass. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Would you rent part of your house for a grow operation?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2014, 11:34:29 AM »
Humidity and mold are the number one concern with illegal grow ops.  Having a large number of plants in your house keeps your house humidity really really high . . . encourages mold.  I'm not sure how you would ventilate properly during winters to avoid this.  Also . . . weed reeks.  It's not a smell that you can easily get out of stuff like clothing, drapes, carpets, etc.

I'd be very hesitant about agreeing to do this.