illegal activity

11 Replies

My handyman went to fix waterheater at one of my rentals, and he found marijuana and a scale.  It looks like illegal going on.  What should I do?

What does your lease say? Grounds for eviction? See if they will move in exchange for you not notifying authorities? If there is drug activity going on I would most likely consider sending a letter vs knocking on the door yourself. 

Ryan Dossey, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB15001099)

Tough one. Sure, you can send them a letter and tell them to not do it again, but if that's their business, they're not going to stop. You don't have anything to prove, because it's hearsay from someone else. It would also put the handyman into a very awkward position, if he ever has to go there again and they now see him as an enemy and could potentially set him up for something.

You could send an anonymous tip to the police, but that could result in them doing some buys and maybe breaking down the doors for arrests. Then you might get a letter from them, saying that they've done undercover buys and if they come back and find other illegal activity they will seize your property, which forces you to file eviction.

I think, without any proof and if they pay well, I would likely pretend that I don't know, unless I hear it from someone else as well. 

I have had a handyman, that told me that one of my tenant families had drugs there. I confronted them and they denied. Not really anything I could do. I later severed ties with the handyman and I always wondered who was the liar. 

I've also twice been in the situation that I got that letter from the police and had to evict and ended up with lots of damage after the eviction.

Call the police, the may get arrested, cheaper than eviction :)

I do have proof.  My handyman took a picture and sent it to me!!

Just in the interest of some discussion of the situation - 

What about ignoring the pot and the scale?  And instead evaluating the tenant on a standard-busies method?  Pays the rent on time, is easy to get along with, takes care of the property, doesn't cause problems, etc. 

Yes;  pot is illegal and selling it is even more illegal.  But too;  times are changing - more and more of the criminal penalties are fading.  And likely will end up as essentially the same as selling loose cigarettes.  I doubt very much that calling the police will result in any action solely in regard to the tenant having pot and a scale.

Is tossing an otherwise good tenant really a worthwhile use of our time and resources?

And what I am interested in talking about is this:  Where is My End?  How will My Life be better as a result of leaping to 'take action' against this tenant?  

I'm not supporting one view or the other as superior - but I am interested in discussing the 'whys' of it all further.

What do you all think?

Do not touch it, put it back and call the cops, tell them what you think it is and ask them to come get it! Let them determine what is and who's it is. That is if you own the property with a tenant in there. If he just went to repair a HWH, leave it alone. I won't get involved with someone's stash unless they had kids and I'd mention it to the parents, if it was just some tokers I'd probably ignore it unless it was a very large bag......then it's dealing and I may revert back to my first comment.

If you put your prints or DNA on a large bag of any junk, the cops have no way of knowing if you had some other involvement besides your story and stories are easily fabricated, so don't touch stuff you don't want to become involved with. :) 

@AJ Smith , even if they get arrested, he'd still have to go through the eviction. In the meantime he may have a busted door and a vacant house, that's wide open . 

They also won't get arrested just on someone's photo. They would (if the police is even interested in pot) likely do some undercover buys, so, that they have proof for an arrest.

You would have proof for an eviction, but keep in mind that every eviction has the potential to turn into something really ugly, with lots of damage to your property. 

And in today's times marijuana really shouldn't be such a big deal. 

Take it easy, it's pot not a meth lab. I wouldn't do anything unless I had something more to go on. People who buy pot have scales to see if they are getting ripped off by the seller.

I'd take a good hard look at this maintenance man too. How did he "just happen" to find it. Was it laying out in the open? Or is he digging around in people's stuff?

Buy two dime bags

I'd follow my lease.  If there is a section in there about no illegal activity, I'd send them a copy of the photo, page of lease with section highlighted, and a notice saying you've been informed of possible illegal activity regarding their rental unit, please remedy the situation as you will have to follow lease terms (eviction, notify authorities, etc.) if informed of future violations.   If nothing else, it might make them more cautious in the future.  

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