Drug testing a tenant

26 Replies

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From some of the stories I see it should be mandatory for landlords to be drug tested:)
I will pass as long as they don't test for caffeine!

@Ryan Wiebe

Sure, they sell instant drug test kits on Amazon. Sign the lease, hand over the security deposit, piss in the cup. It's all good in the hood.

@Ryan Wiebe

There are lots of things you can to do, the real question is should you...

In this case you most certainly should not.

1) a one off drug test is useless. To have any meaningful impact on behavior it would have to be an ongoing thing since most tests detect metabolites for at most 96 hrs. 2) while you will weed out some bad apples you will also drive away many many good applicants who will view the cost of this massive invasion of privacy as far to high compared to the value they'd get from living in your rental.

@Ryan Wiebe

You could run short-arm surprise inspections! Beat down the door at 2 in the morning and present the guy with a cup and an ultimatum! PISS OR OUT!

Look for solutions here, pay no nevermind to these random people!

Your question is a joke, right? But it is not April 1st. 

If it is not a joke, I suggest you have your doctor prescribe Risperdal or maybe landlords need to pass an IQ test because some of the questions I see on this forum are not sourced from common sense or an IQ above 50.

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Originally posted by @Ryan Wiebe :

Can you drug test a potential tenant during the screening process?

 Ryan,

As you can see you are getting a little bit of ribbing here, but it's all in good fun. Thing is in the rental business like most all other businesses you need to be market competitive with your offerings. If you were to attempt to require drug testing for potential tenants you would be way out of the market norm as I've never seen any other landlords do that. So in short the market would not accept that product from you and your properties would sit vacant. 

What you need to do to ensure you protect your investment as much as possible is do a thorough tenant screening that involves a credit check, eviction check and criminal background check. That along with insuring the tenant makes at least 3x the rent and you'll be putting your best foot forward in regards to mitigating your risk.

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I’m glad you guys called me in on this conversation as the OP will obviously benefit greatly from my expert advice on this topic. Unfortunately, not even the best drug tests will tell you whether an applicant is sticking to cannabis cup winning strains or if they’re on the swag. However, if you sign up for my three day seminar I can teach you all the ways with which you can differentiate between a dirt weed smoking loser applicant and a highly productive, rent-remembering, exemplary member of society that will fill your unit with the citrusy-sweet relaxing aroma of top shelf strains like Super Lemon Haze. It’s an art, not a science so I can’t get into all the details here in one post, but I can guarantee that by the end of my three day course you will be able to tell within 4 minutes and 20 seconds whether your applicant is on the swag, the meth, the crank, the acid, the booze, the bath salts or the good stuff. This is achieved by asking a few key landlord-tenant handbook approved screening questions that I will reveal at the end of the course during an interactive role play session. Free McRibs for life to everybody who completes the seminar!

I’d put this right there on this list with:

1. Making out with your cousin

2. Designing a vehicle that needs the engine dropped to change #1 spark plug (ford engineers I’m looking at you)

Sometimes the list of what’s possible and what’s advisable differs greatly.

It's not an unreasonable question.  I've seen it done once in my market for some real nice affordable housing units.  That being said, marijuana is going to be legal for recreational use in my State in about 21 days.  Most other drugs filter out of your system fairly quickly.

What we really are looking for is avoiding heavy drug users as tenants, not the occasional marijuana user.  I can usually see the signs of serious drug use.  Such people usually will fail anyway on the basis of proper screening;  Their drug use hampers their credit score, employment history, rental history, etc..

@Ryan Wiebe I see it is your first post. Welcome to BP. And please let me apologize for those that felt it was necessary to make fun of a new member.

Your question is a very reasonable one. However you have to be aware of fair housing laws. If you do not ask all prospective tenants for a drug test, you risk running afoul of fair housing laws. For example if you ask someone of one race to take a drug test but do not ask someone of another race to take the same test you are discriminating.

If you are not familiar with them look up fair housing laws and the "protected classes" of people you cannot treat differently. 

Originally posted by @Ryan Wiebe :

Can you drug test a potential tenant during the screening process?

 This seems like a massive invasion of privacy.  If I was renting, and a landlord wanted to drug test me, I would probably just look for a different place to live.  Not because I was hiding anything (if caffeine ever becomes a controlled substance, different story) but because the landlord would be trampling on my right to privacy and probably not be someone I'd want to rent from.

Originally posted by @Steve K. :

I’m glad you guys called me in on this conversation as the OP will obviously benefit greatly from my expert advice on this topic. Unfortunately, not even the best drug tests will tell you whether an applicant is sticking to cannabis cup winning strains or if they’re on the swag. However, if you sign up for my three day seminar I can teach you all the ways with which you can differentiate between a dirt weed smoking loser applicant and a highly productive, rent-remembering, exemplary member of society that will fill your unit with the citrusy-sweet relaxing aroma of top shelf strains like Super Lemon Haze. It’s an art, not a science so I can’t get into all the details here in one post, but I can guarantee that by the end of my three day course you will be able to tell within 4 minutes and 20 seconds whether your applicant is on the swag, the meth, the crank, the acid, the booze, the bath salts or the good stuff. This is achieved by asking a few key landlord-tenant handbook approved screening questions that I will reveal at the end of the course during an interactive role play session. Free McRibs for life to everybody who completes the seminar!

I have NOT seen the event post for this seminar! I ABOVE ALL OTHERS would surely benefit from this training as I have multiple buildings where it's possible to get high in the halls. Moving forward, I'd really like to only procure tenants that fill up my halls with top shelf strains like the "Super Lemon Haze" you described. Where can I sign up for this seminar??!! I'm sure I'll also qualify for the Free McRibs. PLEASE CONTACT ME AND MAKE ROOM FOR ME IN THE NEXT AVAILABLE SESSION!!!!111!!!

 

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