Tenants complaining about smell of marijuana

40 Replies

@Yi Zhao Patchouli candles. They mask the smell of marijuana. Unless you have a clear policy outlined in your rental agreement that say no cannabis. It may be very hard to get a tenant from partaking in the herbal essence especially in a a legal state

@Sheila Greene In most places, you can't do a surprise visit. You must give 24hrs notice of inspection. I suppose you could "randomly" stop by and knock on the door, but you *can't enter the property unless invited* if you do it that way. 

@Yi Zhao It's going to be hard to prove anyone is smoking unless you actually catch them, so don't take sides. Also, I don't know what your time is worth, but do you really want to go visit the property every time you get a small complaint? You are a property owner, not a babysitter. 

Now if you do an inspection--which does require notice--and you see obvious signs of smoking like ashtrays, burns, or obviously smell it, you inform your tenants right then and there that they will have to pay for damages if they continue. Follow up your conversation with it in writing and mailed to them.

Also know if your other tenant is just expecting things from you that are impossible. Do not jump every time they contact you, especially if they are contacting you after typical business hours. Your priority is not keeping them happy at the second they complain. It's a balance of putting your life first and providing safe (but probably not a utopia) housing.

@Dennis M. This is a HUGE college town with UMD having their main campus here. I totally agree with you. It would expect that a noise complaint or two and pot smoking are par for the course.

@Yi Zhao Also consider blowing in insulation between the floors and walls between units.... especially the expanding type. This will help to seal the units from one another sound and smell wise.

As long as they’re paying rent and not destroying your property, I’d let them stay. You may have actually had the nuisance tenant already leave!

From the annuals of you can't make this up:

We had the same complaint from a new recently arrived refugee family who moved into a rehabbed upper unit & there is no-one below them. They can smell weed in & around the apartment BUT it's stronger in their sons bedroom ????

I just want to clarify something: The biggest reason I want to evict them is not because they smoke weed, it's because they don't respect other people, including making excessive noise during quiet hours, even after repeated attempts to work things out. They also lie a lot.

@Yi Zhao Do they pay the rent on time? You will have a hard time evicting otherwise. When does their lease end? It honestly sounds to me like you are getting too personally involved. When a tenant complains about things like noise and such, it sounds like you try and fix it. 

You can't fix things like that because no one can control another person's actions. You have started to see this for yourself when you said you've repeatedly made attempts to work things out. 

But when the complaining tenant knows that you will immediately answer their calls/texts/whatever and get involved, then they will keep on doing that. Next thing you know, they're yelling at you at 11PM because you didn't respond to them quickly enough. 

Getting too involved in neighborly issues like noise and smells is a lose-lose situation for you. You won't make the alledged person change. And you will still be the bad guy when the tenant that complains to you feels you aren't building a utopia for them.

Keep tenants at a distance. Do not get personally involved like you are doing. Keep it professional.

We have a strict no smoking of anything in any of our units clause, because we're so afraid of fires in multifamilies.  And we enforce it.  Funny - it seems that the ones who violate the smoking rule, also can't seem to pay rent on time, so we evict them for non-payment of rent.  I don't care if they eat the marijiuana - I just don't want them smoking it on my property.