Mississauga landlords don't want tenants growing cannabis

 

Cannabis has been legal in Canada for almost a year, and attitudes about it are shifting.

Bill C-45 (otherwise known as the Cannabis Act) has been in place since Oct. 17, 2018, making it legal for Canadians to consume the drug, and to grow it within the comfort of their own homes in most provinces.

People in Ontario can cultivate up to four plants within a private residence without a license, so people who live in single-family homes and condos and apartments (unless a condo bylaw bans cannabis production) are free to grow a limited quantity of cannabis. 

But do people worry that legal cannabis will hurt their property value or make it harder for them to find an apartment?

Zoocasa, a real estate brokerage and website, recently released a report that explores the impact that cannabis legalization has had on tenants and homeowners.

Zoocasa conducted an online poll of over 1,300 Canadians between September 17 to 29, 2019, on the following sentiments:

  • Consumption and cultivation of cannabis in private residences
  • Living in close proximity to where cannabis is sold
  • Awareness of landlords, renters, and condo dwellers of their rights and the rules that govern cannabis usage in their homes

The survey found that Canadians are warming up to the idea of living near a dispensary. While Mississauga does not yet allow private cannabis retailers to operate within city limits, it has signalled that it will reevaluate its decision after observing other municipalities—so legal dispensaries could pop up in the city in the future. 

Zoocasa says that when it comes to new dispensary businesses opening up in the neighbourhood, Canadians are generally feeling more at ease with their presence - a total of 43 per cent of respondents agreed they would be comfortable with such a business operating in proximity to their home, compared to the 31 per cent who indicated as such last year.

That said, Zoocasa found that those who don’t own real estate in their neighbourhood were more likely to indicate they are comfortable - a total of 56 per cent of renters were in agreement, compared to just 36 per cent of homeowners. As well, respondents who identified as millennials (born between 1981 - 1996) were most comfortable with nearby dispensaries than older generations; 56 per cent indicated as such, compared to a combined 34 per cent of Gen Xers (1965 - 1980) and Baby Boomers (1946 - 1964).

Zoocasa says Canadians aren't too worried that the presence of a dispensary would hurt the value of nearby homes, and overall sentiment appears to have improved from pre-legalization.

Zoocasa says a total of 32 per cent of respondents felt that dispensaries would have a negative impact on nearby home values, down from 42 per cent last year. Homeowners were more likely to agree with the sentiment, at 35 per cent, compared to 25 per cent of renters. Again, Millennials are less likely to be concerned, with 24 per cent in agreement, compared to 38 per cent of older generations.

However, when it came to smoking inside, most people believe it would be detrimental to their property values; 64 per cent of homeowners and 53 per cent of renters felt smoking inside would diminish the property’s value and condition.

Additionally, 48 per cent of people surveyed said they wouldn’t want to purchase a home that had been used previously to grow cannabis--even if it was a legal amount.

Many landlords are also concerned about the potential damage growing cannabis plants could have on a property. According to the survey, 85 per cent of landlords would prefer to rent to someone who wouldn’t be growing cannabis within the unit.

Fifty-seven per cent of landlords said they are concerned about property damage to their units since the legalization of cannabis, and 55 per cent said they would consider charging more in rent to cover the cost of potential damage associated with smoking or growing cannabis.

Zoocasa says that when it comes to understanding the guidelines around cannabis in their homes, renters indicated they were the most knowledgeable.

When asked whether they were aware of the rules put in place by their condo board or building management, 76 per cent of renter respondents agreed they were, compared to 66 per cent of homeowners. As well, 53 per cent of renters said they understood their rights when it came to smoking or cultivating cannabis inside their home, while only 43 per cent of landlords said they understood what could and couldn't be enforced within their rental.

Zoocasa says neither group appeared willing to break the rules put in place by their board or landlord—just 9 per cent of renters and 7 per cent of homeowners said they would still smoke cannabis inside their homes, even if it was against property management guidelines.

However, a combined total of condo-dwelling respondents of 21 per cent said they would break the rules, despite 72 per cent saying they were aware of them.

Do you worry about the impact of cannabis legalization in your neighbourhood in Mississauga?

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