Author Topic: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?  (Read 3169 times)

Enough

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Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« on: December 16, 2017, 10:24:51 AM »
Just had a new tenant move into a 3-plex in a B-class historic neighborhood.  Building is an old 5,000 sqft victorian that has been carved into 3 apartments, one of which I currently live in.

The morning after the first night that the new tenants moved in, the shared hallway and second floor of my unit (including my bedroom) smells strongly of pot.  I was kind of surprised that the smell would penetrate like that, but maybe I shouldn't be given the age of the building and how drafty it may be between the units.

I don't have any personal issues against pot, but it does stink, my other tenants (who are phenomenal) sent me an email already this morning, so I'm going to have to discuss this with the new tenants today.  I am covered in the lease if I need to evict them, "h.   Lessee shall not at any time use the leased premises for any illegal activity."

So I wanted to ask if there were any tips from the more experienced landlords? Anyone had a similar issue that they've had to address and how did it go?  Given they've only stayed there a night, should I let them out of the lease if they want to move out - less any fumigation costs deducted from their deposit?

Thanks

Dee18

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 11:09:42 AM »
If you are in a state where marijuana is illegal, you should evict those tenants immediately.  You are clearly on notice that they have mj.  If they give a joint to someone, that is distribution,  at which time your property could be subject to forfeiture.  While it is unlikely that a prosecutor would go after it, I would not take the risk. 

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 11:29:10 AM »
1 - Is MJ legal in your area?
2 - What does your lease say about it?  Since you already told us the answer, you allowing them to violate the lease is now setting a precedence.  They can feel free to ignore your rules. 

Dee18 is 100% correct.  If it's illegal in your area, I would have zero tolerance for it and evict.  They are jeopardizing YOUR home AND your income.  No deposit refund either.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:31:49 AM by HawkeyeNFO »

Enough

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 11:38:07 AM »
Thank you both for the input. 

Building is in a state where marijuana is not legal in a medical nor recreational capacity. 
The lease does not specify marijuana or drug use, but it is a violation of the lease on three counts 1) no smoking inside the unit 2) no illegal activities on the leased premises 3) no activities that disturb other tenants

I am leaning towards a strongly worded email and a written eviction warning (zero tolerance if the behavior continues).  With respect to the two individuals that moved in, for one its her first apartment and for the other, its her second.  I don't want a single lapse in judgement to result in an eviction on their records.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:45:29 AM by Enough »

Captain FIRE

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 11:53:40 AM »
If you are in a state where marijuana is illegal

If the OP lives in the US, it's still illegal federally, regardless of whether states have legalized it or not.

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 11:55:53 AM »
I am leaning towards a strongly worded email and a written eviction warning (zero tolerance if the behavior continues)....I don't want a single lapse in judgement to result in an eviction on their records.

You can tell the tenant that they are lucky because you are so nice.  Also I would tell them that you have been advised that you should be evicting them, and that next time there won't be a warning.  You might consider making them pay for a cleaning service to remove the stank.

If they are using drugs, then I wouldn't care about their record.  That's a bad choice that they are making.  If they are evicted, that's their fault, not the landlord's.  It's their problem, not yours.

surfhb

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 12:09:17 PM »
I dont smoke weed but....Jesus!   Its 2018....people are still hung up on weed being a illicit drug?   Fumigation costs?!   lol

Try to understand that pot will be legal very soon nation wide and only reason it was illegal was not because its was some awful narcotic.   Majority of  people do or have used weed and many people use it as a way to live with health issues.   But thats not the issue....

Before you kick out a perfectly good tenant  just tell them that the smoke is bothering others and they must respect that.    Tread lightly because if this were a "legal" state you may be set up for legal problems.....and this might change before you know it in your state or at the federal level anytime now.    But this talk of your property being in jeopardy is plain silly.    Any normal person would be willy to comply I'd bet.   An eviction could potentially cost you thousands....especially if the tenants decide you are an asshole and want to make your life hell.    Just be chill is all Im saying. :)    Any stoner worth their weight in salt would understand this. :)

« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 12:20:30 PM by surfhb »

ketchup

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 12:17:28 PM »
I dont smoke weed but....Jesus!   Its 2018....people are still hung up on weed being a illicit drug?   Fumigation costs?!   lol

Try to understand that pot will be legal very soon nation wide and only reason it was illegal was not because its was some awful narcotic.   Majority of  people do or have used weed and many people use it as a way to live with health issues.   But thats not the issue....

Before you kick out a perfectly good tenant  just tell them that the smoke is bothering others and they must respect that.    Tread lightly because if this were a "legal" state you may be set up for legal problems.....and this might change before you know it in your state or at the federal level anytime now.
I'm as pro-pot as the next liberal millennial ruining America, but I think the OP's problem is not that they smoke pot (what they do on their own time is their problem), it's that they appear to be smoking it inside the building, which is not OK.  Pot doesn't "stick" as much as cigarette smoke, so if it's that obvious inside the building, they're almost certainly smoking it in there.

OP: Tell them to stop.  Tell them you will evict if they don't stop.  Then evict if they don't stop.  Not only is it illegal in your state, but even if it wasn't, you already prohibit smoking in the unit, so it doesn't matter if they're smoking cigarettes, pot, pillowcases, kittens, or moon rocks; you have grounds to evict.

Enough

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2017, 12:21:43 PM »
I dont smoke weed but....Jesus!   Its 2018....people are still hung up on weed being a illicit drug?   Fumigation costs?!   lol

Man, are you actually stoned right now? look at a calendar.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 12:24:11 PM by Enough »

surfhb

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2017, 12:22:08 PM »
I dont smoke weed but....Jesus!   Its 2018....people are still hung up on weed being a illicit drug?   Fumigation costs?!   lol

Try to understand that pot will be legal very soon nation wide and only reason it was illegal was not because its was some awful narcotic.   Majority of  people do or have used weed and many people use it as a way to live with health issues.   But thats not the issue....

Before you kick out a perfectly good tenant  just tell them that the smoke is bothering others and they must respect that.    Tread lightly because if this were a "legal" state you may be set up for legal problems.....and this might change before you know it in your state or at the federal level anytime now.
I'm as pro-pot as the next liberal millennial ruining America, but I think the OP's problem is not that they smoke pot (what they do on their own time is their problem), it's that they appear to be smoking it inside the building, which is not OK.  Pot doesn't "stick" as much as cigarette smoke, so if it's that obvious inside the building, they're almost certainly smoking it in there.

OP: Tell them to stop.  Tell them you will evict if they don't stop.  Then evict if they don't stop.  Not only is it illegal in your state, but even if it wasn't, you already prohibit smoking in the unit, so it doesn't matter if they're smoking cigarettes, pot, pillowcases, kittens, or moon rocks; you have grounds to evict.

All legit....I edited my post after you quoted me

surfhb

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 12:23:13 PM »
I dont smoke weed but....Jesus!   Its 2018....people are still hung up on weed being a illicit drug?   Fumigation costs?!   lol

Man, are you actually stoned right now? look at a calendar.

details   details.....its 2 weeks away ;)   

I think landlords need to  start adding specifics clauses to their leases at this point.  Also they need to start asking a lawyer what options are needed since weed will obviously be a as legal as alcohol in the entire country very soon.    I see tenant rights lawyers making some money in the future if they feel thier clients civil rights might be violated because Gramps has health issues which he needs his "medication"  for.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 12:40:24 PM by surfhb »

sammybiker

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 12:35:54 PM »
Hahaha, good (and funny) responses above.

I'd confront with a written notice but instead of going the eviction route, would offer them out of the lease ASAP less rent and move out costs if they cannot comply, with a note that you can evict if required.

My biggest concern is upsetting the gold you have occupying the other two units.  Offering a peaceful out for them without waving the eviction card allows a less painful out for them.  Waving the eviction card and they go through with the eviction process - well, they'll be smoking in that place from that eviction notice until the day they are evicted.  Not to mention lost rent and other costs, you risk losing the quality tenants that you've established in the other units.


Dee18

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 02:33:57 PM »
There are two separate issues: (1) they are smoking something that annoys the neighbors and will make their apartment less appealing to some future tenants, and (2) they are engaged in illegal activity that can be the basis of forfeiture of your property. I don't agree that this law is a good idea, but it is the law. As Captain Fire wisely reminded us, it is the law in all states. I would ask them to move out whether or not they agree to quit smoking in the apt. Your lease was clear. (FYI, if it is a paid off property forfeiture is much more likely than if it's highly mortgaged.)

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 05:35:38 PM »
FYI, if it is a paid off property forfeiture is much more likely than if it's highly mortgaged.
Source of your info?  Makes sense to me, but I'm curious if this is true.


MJseast

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2017, 02:03:30 PM »
I'm with @surfhb on this one. It sucks that you're in an illegal state, but there's no need to freak out about this. Just calmly and simply let them know that you've had complaints and it can't happen again. Hopefully they will change their method of consumption to vape and/or edibles and nobody will be the wiser.

Cannabis smoke is not like cigarette smoke and won't "stick" so there's no need for fumigation. In fact, I don't allow cigarette smoke in my AirBnB but welcome any cannabis use (I'm in a legal state - thank the gawds!). Personally, I think the smell of cannabis smoke is the smell of FREEDOM!!! ;)

I'd also ask that you have a little bit compassion when handling the situation. Many, MANY people use cannabis as medication and they may be suffering from something that you can't see. It doesn't mean that you have to tolerate it in an illegal state, but it also doesn't mean you need to be overly aggressive either.

Things are changing, for the better, and hopefully in 5-10 years we won't need to have conversations like this. :)

Enigma

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2017, 01:28:32 AM »
Besides the lease I also have a  'Drug & Criminal Activity Policy' & a 'Security Deposit Policy' all three that have to be signed.  That aside, I might recommend a certified letter because 1) that is the first step for most evictions 2) It clarifies you will not be tolerant to that kind of behavior.  Just because you send a certified letter doesn't mean you have to evict them.

Evictions take time unless you start the process while clarifying the rules.  Tenants sometimes tell you what you want to hear then ignore you.

hucktard

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2017, 03:43:05 PM »
Man, some of these comments seem straight out of a "reefer madness" video. I would write your tenants a letter stating that there has been a pungent odor that is bothering other tenants and remind them that smoking anything in the residence is against the lease, then see what happens. An eviction should be the last course of action. I highly doubt that you are going to get your property taken away because one of your tenants smokes weed.

coopdog

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2017, 12:11:09 PM »
The lease should dictate how you should handle it, but assuming the lease is pretty boiler plate, I'd send them a written warning not to smoke on the premises (again assuming the lease explicitly prohibits smoking) and any additional violation may lead to eviction and/or loss of security deposit. That's it. No sweat.

I'm a professional property manager.

coopdog

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2017, 12:14:53 PM »
(2) they are engaged in illegal activity that can be the basis of forfeiture of your property.

I've worked in real estate for 17 years and I've never heard of a landlord forfeiting a property due to a tenant's illegal behavior. Perhaps if the Landlord was complicit which would be a different matter.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2017, 02:57:21 PM »
I think my first step would be to let the new tenants know about how much airflow there is through the house. They may not have realized they stunk up the house. Their reaction would determine the next step.

Enigma

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2017, 06:28:32 AM »
(2) they are engaged in illegal activity that can be the basis of forfeiture of your property.
I've worked in real estate for 17 years and I've never heard of a landlord forfeiting a property due to a tenant's illegal behavior. Perhaps if the Landlord was complicit which would be a different matter.

I constantly look online for confiscated, government seized property by the POLICE, DEA, FBI, ATF, IRS, U.S. COAST GUARD, U.S. CUSTOMS, other GOVERNMENT AGENCIES...  Do some google searches because they are everywhere.  That is one of the issues with larger government (socialism).  A larger government can bust down your door and take everything from you.  A larger company cannot.  If a government tries to seize your rental property you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

coopdog

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2017, 10:01:45 AM »
Yes. The Government can seize property. If they seized every rental property that was the location of a crime, then the government would own just about every apartment complex in the country. The reason they don't seize them is because the owners of the properties were not involved in the crimes.

former player

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2017, 10:21:52 AM »
One thing that occurs to me and hasn't been mentioned yet is that in a large Victorian building without fire barriers between the units or sprinklers in them the fire risk is likely to be substantial.  If I were living on the second floor, as OP is, that would be a worry.

So I'm with the "they need to shape up or leave" camp.

Hotstreak

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2017, 11:27:33 PM »
Considering how ubiquitous marijuana is, make it your personal policy to tell every new tenant that they are NOT allowed to smoke, vaporize, or otherwise use marijuana anywhere on your property and that you will evict them immediately if they are found to do so.  Include it in your rental agreement.  Communicate it clearly up front.


There are several things that could be happening other than smoking pot.  I would be much more concerned about someone growing or processing large amounts of marijuana than someone who smoked it.  Recreational cannabis users are barely breaking the law, and can easily switch to using off premise.  The other possibilities are a larger criminal problem.  You should do a walk through and make sure nothing serious is going on.

wjquigs

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2017, 02:26:31 PM »
I don't know if vapor is available in states where MJ is still illegal (which, even though I don't use it, still seems so quaintly anachronistic). Here in Washington, when pot was legalized, it actually became far *less* common to smell it while walking around downtown. I think because there are so many other consumable forms that don't reek like a big smoking joint. Maybe tell your tenants that it's the smell that's bothering everybody, and see if they can find some other means. Unless they're bad tenants, in which case, what are you waiting for? Evict them.

Cwadda

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2017, 09:02:33 AM »
I'm also a landlord in a 4 family building, and I live in one of the units.

Personally, I do not have a problem with people having marijuana in their apartments with a few exceptions:
1. If another tenants says anything about any smell, all done.
2. Absolutely no growing or dealing (distributing) out of the house.
3. No smoking inside.
4. MJ only, no hard drugs.

dummy

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Re: Marijuana Use in a Multi Family - any Advice?
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2018, 11:58:39 PM »
I would agree with Cwadda.