Back in 2012, Colorado became one of the first states to allow recreational use of marijuana. Many landlords are confused on what they can or can’t do in a state where marijuana use is legal. The truth is, not a lot has changed since Marijuana was legalized in Colorado. What is clear, is that landlords need to be very careful when writing their lease. This is why it’s always recommended to either hire a Property Manager or hire a Real Estate attorney if you’re unsure but want to follow the law to avoid any type of law suits. Marijuana growing also falls under this category – it’s important to outline in your lease what you will and will not allow with marijuana use or cultivation.
While Amendment 64 allows marijuana use and even the growth of plants, landlords may completely prohibit or limit possession, use and growth on their rental property. If a landlord or property manager wishes to prohibit marijuana use in their rental properties, it’s absolutely necessary to include a drug-free lease clause into their lease agreement. Currently under Colorado law a landlord may evict a tenant for failing to follow the drug policy in a signed lease agreement.
Recently, we’ve seen that many judges in the Colorado Judicial system are hesitant to enforce evictions or removal of tenants based on marijuana use. Typically, these types of cases lead to a slap on the wrist versus an eviction. Anothing thing to keep in mind, with local law enforcement no longer arresting Colorado residents for marijuana use or possession, it can be harder for Landlords to threaten or warn tenants by involving the police.
If a landlord chooses to allow marijuana use on their property, you can restrict growth of marijuana plants, but still allow use. Marijuana plant growth can cause long lasting damage to the home such as mold, or damage caused by tenants for hydroponic indoor growing, fire hazards, altering HVAC systems and walls, etc. One to two year inspections done by the Property Manager or Landlord can help prevent this type of damage, but always remember Colorado Law requires a 24 hour notice. It’s also important to note the difference between medical and recreational use when writing your law. As always, if you’re unsure of how to approach this issue, hire a Property Manager like Keyrenter in Denver to help make sure you’re following the law while also keeping a profitable rental in Denver and Colorado.