Reporting a Suspected Drug House

Tips For Landlords: How to Prevent Marijuana Grow Operations

In recent years, the number of marijuana grow-ops has increased dramatically. Like most Police agencies, Richmond RCMP have noted that the primary location for these illegal operations are in residential rental properties.

By simply screening prospective tenants and conducting regular inspections of your property, you can virtually eliminate the likelihood of a grow operation being set up in your property.

Making "sudden" unannounced checks are not required. Give proper notice (as per Residential Tenancy Act) prior to an inspection. If you suspect, or discover a grow-op, do not confront your tenant. Call the police.

Get to Know Your Neighbours

Ask them to keep an eye on your rental property and give them your phone number so they can contact you.

Do not accept post-dated cheques. Instead, collect the rent monthly at the rental property, which gives you an opportunity to visit the property as well.

Screen Prospective Tenants

Check their references. Advise them that you check your property regularly (with proper notice). Let them know you have regular contact with the neighbours.

Check Your Property at Least Every 4 to 5 Weeks

A simple walk around the exterior of the house is sufficient to detect signs of a grow-op. If you discover some of the indicators listed on this page, ask the tenant for an explanation. If you are not satisfied with the response, consider giving them notice that you would like to perform a more thorough inspection. Do not confront the tenant; contact the police instead.

Absentee/Offshore Landlords

Make sure you have someone check the property on a regular basis.

For Multi-Unit Dwellings

The implementation of strata bylaws at multi-unit buildings may deter marijuana growers from renting from these buildings. Examples of types of these bylaws are:
Fire Inspection Bylaw for mandatory annual in-suite fire alarm device testing on pre-determined dates. The bylaw could state that if there is no access provided by the resident/owner, a locksmith will be called by strata council to open the door of the strata lot to perform tests and incurred costs relating to the locksmith and entry will be billed to the strata lot.
Illegal Activities Bylaw stating that damage caused to common area or other strata lots due to illegal activities at one strata lot (i.e., marijuana grow operation or methamphetamine laboratory), the associated costs with repair of the damage will be charged back to the account of the strata lot.

What to Look For

  • Windows that are always dark, boarded up or otherwise blacked out
  • Condensation on darkened or blacked-out windows
  • "Skunk" smell in the air, often at the same time each day/night
  • Humming noise or motorized fan-like noises
  • Discarded potting soil, small plastic "bedding" plant type pots, 1 gallon plastic pots
  • Lack of garbage there may not be any garbage put out to the curbside.
  • Bright Lights High intensity bulbs are used by growers to accelerate the plant growth.

Reporting A Suspicious Drug House Brochure

Suspicious Drug House Reporting Form