Tenants using marijuana in a multi unit building - how to handle it.

6 Replies

Ok everybody, multi owners/managers especially need to input on this one.


Ol Mr. Pro McCaskey here has had this come up a couple times in the past and just moved some new tenants into a unit today and tonight have complaints about the smell...

How would you deal with it?


Presuming it is in your lease evict for breach of lease.  I am thinking about telling my tenants my dog can sniff for drugs. 

Best, pay them to go some where else. If, city finds it, they will blame you that you encourage them, and may take building. They threatened me to do that!!! Tough situations. All the best.

@Jeff McCaskey What was your end result during this situation, what did you end up doing with your tenant

I don't allow it in my buildings; but now legal in my state on private property ; so in the back yard, I have no rules against it  (smoking allowed outside only).....in fact, I have the outside only rule specifically so they don't do it inside, a risk if I tried to ban all smoking.... 

For you, it could violate an indoors smoking rule in lease or policy, or the violate no laws provisions, or even a damaging property provision, or simply disturbing others. 

If you can prove and know who is doing it, I think you have some options that range in severity. you can do a written letter warning to try and correct it, or even the proper notice to quit the premises based On a lease violation. You could even report it to police.... Are you looking to get them out, give them a reminder and retain them, or have them arrested....so your approach may depend on your goals....best of luck..

I'd suggest a vaporizer to your toking tenant. As compared to joints(the most common method of smoking ganja,) vaporizers generally emit less smoke, so there's less smell.

The challenge in starting eviction proceedings is primarily in proving that they're doing it. You said it's a multi-unit- I'll guess we're talking about an 8 unit, though it doesn't matter. Imagine showing up in court- it could go like this:

Judge: "You have 8 apartments, and one of the residents smelled some pot, and thinks it came from the adjacent apartment, and you want to uproot this family based on that?"

You: "Um...yes?"

Judge: "Tenant X, have you ever smoked pot in this building?

Tenant X: "No way, dude."

Judge:  "Dismissed. And McCaskey, pay your tenant's legal fees."

I can't even imagine how you'd prove it- a picture of your tenant with red eyes and Cheetos-stained fingers? A receipt in your tenant's name for the purchase of a large number of Cheech and Chong movies? 

I'll tell you this, Mr. McCaskey- if this is your biggest problem, you're running a very tight ship. Look into the vaporizer, that's the most practical advice I have on this,


Updated over 2 years ago

Another option- call it the defensive option- would be to offer a high quality air filtering machine(with a HEPA filter) to your resident who does not like the smell. I think this should be the first action you take.

@Tereal Wilsonn

To answer your question about what I did in the situation. I honestly try to work things out where possible and had spoke with the tenants on a few occasions. In the end I was at the multi unit property fixing some items on a newly rented unit when the police showed up and went to kick the door in, I asked if they would like the keys to the apartment, so they took them and entered. Nobody was home and they removed a number of items. I later spoke with the tenant and we decided calmly it was best to part ways. I said at the end of the month which was the end of the lease, he made plans to leave that week (which did not really offend me personally). After he had his stuff out he called and decided to pick a fight with me about the rent he owed for the month. Personally I don't think this group is very responsible or rational at all (the people who use) and so I ended up at the point where I told him he really didn't know anything about running a business and didn't have a right to tell me how to run mine and that I was done arguing with him about it, that I had other work to attend to and that if he didn't like what I had to say that he could kiss my *** and I hung up and went back to work on my flip project I was standing in when he called to argue. We went to court, I won, he lost. I'm still waiting to see any money though. I believe he left town after that. Also fine by me.

Rather dramatic answer to the question I suppose but that's the honest answer! I don't know where you are at in your investing but hope this thread might be of some use to you.

@Michael Boyer

I agree with most of what you said there. Yes I have a no smoking policy too. Some people just aren't going to respect the rules or respect other people and unfortunately that causes issues in the end.

@Michael Gansberg

You had a good idea with the vaporizer and the air filtering machine. You also had a good point about the he said she said scenario. Fortunately it came to its own end, though smoother is better lol.

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