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Tip #247: Got Pot?

 Have your tenants developed a new-found interest in growing pot? Would you know it if they did?

Unfortunately, some of the information regarding marijuana rules that renters are receiving through social media and other sources is misleading.

This misinformation may encourage tenants to push the limits of the law — and your lease.

A few of these tenants are criminals looking for a way to cash in on an expanded market. Rental houses are the preferred spots to run illegal businesses, especially if the landlord is “hands-off”.

But it is the landlord who pays the price when a rental property is recovered with tell-tale signs of drug operations —  retrofitted plumbing and electrical systems, water damage, or a police activity report.

First, learn to recognize the signs of a grow operation:

Efforts to block windows day and night.
A skunk smell.
Bright lights.
Humming sounds.
Hoses running to the outside.
Paranoia about anyone entering the home.
Occupants who are never home, or not than the ones on the lease.
The roof has no snow or frost despite bad weather.
Complaints of low water pressure, power surges from adjacent tenants, or spikes in utility usage.

Keep an eye on the property, and perform regular inspections of the inside. It’s also helpful if neighboring property owners have your phone number and can alert you to suspicious behavior.

Make sure your rules are clear so that tenants understand what they can — and can’t — do in your rental property.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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