Monday, September 10, 2007

Grow Ops and Random Residential Suite Perusals

One of the Mt. Pleasant aunties told me this weekend that the city now requires property owners to inspect for grow ops and is holding the owner responsible for this crime. I'm trying to verify this point - here's what I've found so far (please post a comment if you find out anything I don't have):

1) Due to the strike, it is impossible to talk with anyone at City of Vancouver about residential inspection bylaws. But I found information online that inspections are being required in other parts of the province. For example North Cowichan, has been requiring owners to inspect every two months to control drug crime, but is thinking about scaling back to every six months.

2) The Province for Sunday Sept. 9 had an article by Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association, about grow-ops in strata housing, so I called him to ask about the Vancouver bylaws. He told me "you can't force somebody to inspect," but that landlords to have the right to inspect properties under the Residential Tenancy Act [and strata managers have special inspection requirements]. Gioventu pointed me to a comprehensive guide to the provincial Residential Tenancy Act on the web page - but it has no obvious information about inspections other than before the tenant is in residence and for purposes of returning a deposit after a tenant leaves. When I tried to phone this government office for more help, there was a message saying we're sorry, all circuits are busy now. I've sent them an email asking:

I'm trying to find information about the right and responsibility of landlords to inspect premises during a tenant's residency, to look for illegal activity. It seems that this responsibility is being laid on landlords now by police, but we would like to see the relevant laws, with respect to notification requirements and so forth. Please advise.

3) In this 2007 web page, the Vancouver Police Department sets out guidelines for owners about Illegal Activities on Rental Properties. They state: "A regular inspection of your property can prevent problems from occurring."
They also say that Responsibilities of Owners include putting an addendum into your rental agreement forbidding illegal activity, on the premises or property, including but not limited to:

any drug-related criminal activity
solicitation (pimps, prostitution activity)
street gang activity
assault or threatened assault, in regard to persons on the premises
unlawful use of a firearm
any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or welfare of the landlord, other tenants or persons on the residential property or residential premises.

Such violations would be considered cause for ending the lease.

The Vancouver Police Department site also states that property insurance will not cover damage caused by grow-ops. Such damage can include mold from growing plants indoors, and fires or rewiring from use of a lot of extra electricity.

If you have further information about bylaws, leases, or current practices in Mt. Pleasant around Random Residential Suite Perusals (inspections) by landlords, please post in the Comments section.

No comments:

Post a Comment