Caught Tenant Smoking Weed

76 Replies


Looking for some advice here. I am not sure what to do. I live in one side of a duplex and renting out the other side. There is a shared laundry room. My current tenants have paid on time every month, and every time I have entered the house for maintenance it was very clean and tidy.

Today as I was walking towards the laundry room, one of the tenants (this 30-something woman) was smoking weed outside. I heard her say "oh ****" then she ran inside real quick! I didn't think much of it, then when I went into the laundry room, I found a pipe full of weed on top of the washing machine. She must have tried to hide it.

Should I make a big deal out of this? Ignore it? It does not really affect me personally, but what if it starts with weed and progresses to hard drugs? It is against the law for sure. Looking for advice here.

P.S. I screened all the individuals living here and they all had a clean record. This woman lives with her mom and grandma, and they are the ones responsible for paying the rent.



no worries.. I remember an apartment I rented right out of high school in Santa Clara CA.. the down stairs neighbor smoked week constantly and he was probably 45 ish I was 18.. but then again so did we  LOL

You're not the police. So only worry about the legality of it as it relates to how it affects your business. I wouldn't think smoking weed in a duplex would affect anything. Smoking it in a larger family friendly complex might. Selling meth would definitely.

If it violates the lease, its terms for eviction. 

Your call

Originally posted by @Faisal Farnas :

but what if it starts with weed and progresses to hard drugs? 

That is nonsense and not something any statistic has been able to link in any way. The truth is, more than 40% of the adult population in the US admit to having smoked weed at some time. Even the president. Just because they end up going to crack or heroin is simply a complete coincidence. The weed did not lead them there. That's kind of like saying drinking milk is a gateway drug, because most people that smoke crack probably drank milk sometime in their life before they started doing that.

If it was a truly harmful drug I would say report it to the police, and get rid of the tenant if you can. Weed is not a harmful drug, it doesn't cause people to break things or steal things, and it's not going to contaminate your property. 

I personally think alcohol is more destructive than marijuana. Against the law? Yes, but is she really harming anyone or anything? I'd look the other way if it's just recreational use.

I wouldn't make a big deal out of it unless she's selling it. That could affect your property. I also think that when you go to get the next rent payment from her mom you should hand the girl back her pipe and enjoy the awkward silence that follows.

I wouldn't be too worried about. Just let her know she can not do it on the property. Also if No Smoking is not in your lease I suggest you add it.

Your call, I am assuming you have something about illegal activities and eviction.

If she is over 18 I would pull her aside and have a talk to her about it. No smoking in her room, house etc, whatever you choose, no dealing etc. Lay down your expectations of it kept under wraps and never wanting to see or smell it again. Tell her next time immediate eviction for her mom and grandma. But after that move on. Your state is in the process of voting for medical weed so expect this sort of thing to be very common.

Fear of God and then move on. It doesn't hurt and until it hurts your property or business no need to get your panties in a bunch.

Think of it like this, if she was 18 and drinking a glass of wine while doing laundry how big of a deal would you make it?

Thank you guys for the input. personally I don't care and I agree it is less destructive than alcohol and should be legalized. I am just trying to conduct business in a professional manner here. I might have a talk with her if it happens again, and point her to the relevant clause in the lease.

Lulz. You're all good man, potheads just wanna chill. Usually you will be able to figure a bad pothead vs a good pothead.

Come to CA and I'll treat you out

@Faisal Farnas

I have tenants that smoke weed at every property I manage, several per house do.  If you call the police for someone smoking a joint, they will most likely be annoyed as I'm sure they have much better things to do that deal with a "drug" issue.  If it is anything harder than weed, for sure evict immediately.  But to say that weed is a gateway drug is nonsense.

Interesting side note, I had a tenant overdose in the house and die this year, most likely from heroine.  Really tragic, he was in his early 20s, a college kid and one of the kindest humans you would ever have met.  He was literally the ONLY ONE in the house that did not smoke pot.  I had no clue he was using, neither did anyone else in the house.  Sad story, but I wouldn't worry about pot.  Anything else, absolutely make it a priority.  My only rule is that they don't smoke INSIDE the house, otherwise their deposit goes bye bye.

Hope this helps!

Take Jays advice. I have done some serious bongs with that dude. 

I dont think marijuana is very harmful either. Probrably less than my drug of choice...caffine! Still its illegal so I would say something, nothing harsh or threatening but address the situation. Wouldnt want to be seen as the "chill" landlord but wouldnt want to be unreasonable and overreact. 

Id just ask her to share.

Weed, tobacco it really is no different. If it violates your no smoking clause inforce the clause otherwise let it go.

I'd worry about smoke inside. I wouldn't worry at all if its just outside. But I'm coming from the San Diego, specifically Pacific Beach, mindset. Leases in our area address not smoking pot indoors, other ways to use it if indoors, etc (as it is medicine here). Side note, was talking to a guy while walking the dog on a weekday around 7:30 AM and suddenly realized he was smoking a joint. Gotta love beach culture ;)

I will have no smoking of anything on my property. In Oregon it is legal and I am not worried about the feds but I would not be able to even inspect my property because the strong smell of weed makes me violently sick.

i had a situation where a new tenant moved upstairs from a tenant that smoked weed. i was unaware of it because the prior tenant upstairs either didn't mind or smoked too.  Well the new tenant did mind since she had young kids.  my units are non smoking to begin with.  i had to send the first floor a notice that the next time we encounter the weed smell, i would escort the authorities into every unit until we determined the origination.  that fixed the problem. 

" I didn't Inhale" ...... It worked for Bill Clinton!!

At least she was doing it in the laundry room and not smoking up the rental unit. 

You state these are tenants who pay every month and keep their place very clean and tidy.  Not your typical hard "druggie" profile, right?  And the old fear that using this stuff will lead to harder drugs just doesn't pan out among the 30 something's.

If you need to discuss this with her the suggestion is not do this out in the open since it's currently not legal in your state.  However, I'd just look the other way on this one.


I agree with most of the responses on here. Until it is legal, just pull them aside and say "if you get busted with that, you are on your own." I personally don't care if my tenants smoke weed. Better they snack themselves to sleep, than tear up your property from being drunk.
I'm beginning to think half the country smokes pot anyway.

I have had a similar situation with one of my tenants daughter and her boyfriend in the basement.  (at the time I gave them access to the basement for storage, I don't anymore but that's a different story lol) I have other tenants in the home so I asked them to take it outside from now on out of respect to them and they did to my knowledge.  They are in their mid twenties so I trust them as adults and haven't smelled anything during my visits.  With all my leases I attach a addendum with house rules that addresses smoking of any kind, noise, pets, etc.  If it bothers you add it to your house rules and ask them to smoke outside and make sure they sign it. 

I would just leave it alone. A little toke never hurt anyone.

Personally I wouldn't care - I wouldn't want my tenant to walk around on eggshells around me though.

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