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Man Damages Two Rentals Watering His Pot Plants

A man in Boulder, Colorado caused significant damage to two rental condos by over-watering his marijuana plants. Clearly not something you could have avoided with an apartment credit check.

While Boulder has a local medical marijuana ordinance making it legal for some to possess the drug, the police issued the man a ticket for “prohibited acts of medical marijuana” according to the local newspaper report.

The ground-floor unit beneath was flooded, and that tenant called police.  Police responding to the complaint reported initially finding three 6-foot tall plants in the rental.  The man apparently had rigged a 55-gallon water system, and had left it on at the time of the severe flooding.  An inspection showed signs of previous water damage.

Upon further search, the police found several more plants in the bathroom, and discovered that the water and electrical lines had been retro-fitted and the skylight replaced with a charcoal filter, according to the report.

No building permit had been issued for the reconfigured utilities in the condo.  Because of the damage and code violations, both units were condemned pending repairs.  His next landlord better run an apartment credit check AND a criminal background check.

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips, like an apartment credit check. Check out our Landlord Forms page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, an apartment credit check, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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  • Anthony

    Trying to pay rent…?

  • mark

    It is time to fully decriminalize marijuana growing. the water damage can be caused by overwatering any plant. This was a no brainer for the police. Sensational news for the local Fox TV.

  • gary

    I would tend to agree with Mark that marijuana laws have run their course and it’s probably time for full decriminalization. However, that full change has not occurred and until/unless it does, there is no excuse for illegal growing – especially in/on someone else’s property.

    Just because we don’t like one law or another is no acceptable reason to break the law. The real question is – if somebody’s illegal activity in the rental unit harms another tenant or visitor – what liability falls upon the landlord? If we’re looking to change laws, perhaps there’s a more fertile field out there in terms of all the ridiculous and onerous laws and regulations to punish property owners.

  • Dr. Science

    You’re all three missing the point. As landlords, would you allow your tenants to operate a wood shop, paint automobiles, repair automobiles, launch a store front providing services, or anything else one can think of that is prohibited by the code and zoning department of any city? Marijuana grow operations fall under this guideline. Tell the tenant, upon moving in that there are things you don’t allow. You are the landlord. You own the property. It’s YOUR JOB to enforce the rules. Simply make growing pot against the rules. It’s your right. If you get any interference from the tenant claiming that it’s their right to do it, let them know that you couldn’t agree more, just not at this location. Invite them to seek commercial property to rent and they can grow pot, tomato’s, apples, almonds, or whatever else they feel like growing. End of discussion. There is no law enforcement agency anywhere that will take their side, In fact, technically, its against federal law to be in anyway connected to a grow operation under Ronald Reagan’s RICO Act. That law allows the FEDS to confiscate your property (as in, your rental properties, your house, your car, your whatever etc. if you even know about the operation (which makes one an accessory to the crime and conspiracy charges can be filed against you.) The only item holding back the FEDS from exercising this action is something that Obama said in a speech. There has been no laws officially changed to mandate the FEDS from not doing this. True story.

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