Even if you do not participate in cannabis activities you could be affected.
I recently attended a legal seminar that covered various topics regarding the residential real estate owner. A couple I thought would be pertinent for my blog readers. The first topic we will deal with is cannabis and residential homeowners.
This post is not meant to be definitive, only to suggest you do homework.
Understand that each township and unincorporated areas of each county in California has their own rules regarding cannabis growing. Should you incline to participate in the activity or complain about your neighbor, be sure, you understand the ordinances of the governing jurisdiction.
A common thread for growing, regardless of locale, is screening neighbors from the negative aspects of the growth. These negative aspects would include such things as odor, unwanted illumination into a neighbor, irrigation runoff, and in clear view.
Townships typically limit growth to the indoors with limits on the number of plants per household; Sacramento City has a limit of six plants. The odor will have to be mitigated, including interior non-growth areas, as well as preventing any grow light rays emanating from the room to be seen by a neighbor. Could be a costly proposition.
Some counties will allow growth in the out-of-doors. Check your counties’ website for particular rules. If your county does allow out-of-doors growth, there will be rules regarding how close to a property line plants are allowed to exist and again a limit on the number of plants.
I found instances where some townships and counties will allow growth sheds outside of the home proper. Even with this concession, all the environmental rules mentioned above remain in place and strictly enforced.
View these county websites to glean information on residential cannabis growing in your area:
If you live in an incorporated township, check with the local government offices regarding their rules. Chances are they will differ from county rules.
Important information for landlords.
Deciding to be a landlord now comes with additional peril. The presenting lawyers explained that landlords now may be held liable for the actions of their tenants in regards to cannabis. An example given again was Sacramento City; any finding where more than six plants are growing in a single residence will be accessed a fine of $500 per plant over six and WILL be payable, according to this city, by the landlord. Ouch! Landlords, you better find creative ways of periodically checking your rentals without violating the quiet enjoyment afforded to tenants.
Landlords, there is one thing in your favor. Since growing and smoking cannabis is not a protected class of individuals, landlords may reject or evict cannabis growers or users. I view it the same as restricting cigarette smokers. If this is a restriction you want, have a lawyer review your lease agreement so that is has standing concerning state and federal law and adheres to your wishes–this is IMPORTANT. Failing to do so may find yourself on the losing end.
One other thought, seek the advice of a lawyer regarding the aftermath of tenants, either growing or smoking cannabis within the residence, as it relates to the disposition of initial deposits and cleanup.
The seminar was quite enlightening and well worth the cost, FREE.
In the next writing, we will talk about “partition”; what it is and how you can be affected.