While marijuana will soon be legalized, it will be up to landlords to decide if they want to allow their tenants to possess cannabis plants.
The province introduced amendments to rental legislation that addresses concerns about marijuana, misuse of the eviction process and the disposal of abandoned goods.
“Through this legislation, government is ensuring that the balance between landlords’ and tenants’ rights is maintained,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said in a news release. “These amendments address concerns we’ve heard from landlords about issues such as the upcoming legalization of cannabis and abuses of the eviction process.”
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, 2017 will give landlords the right to create rules against possessing, selling and using marijuana inside the rental property. This includes the growing of plants.
The amendment also plans to repeal the provision that requires a tenant to deposit half of a month’s rent with the Court of Queen’s Bench when appealing an eviction hearing decision. The tenant will now need to continue to pay rent to the landlord until the conclusion of the appeal.
Landlords will also now be able to dispose of abandoned goods if the value does not exceed $1,500 without obtaining an order from the Office of Residential Tenancies.
The Office of Residential Tenancies received 8,446 applications in 2016-17. Of those, 6,876 were made by landlords and 1,460 were made by tenants. These disputes involved security deposits, overdue or unpaid rent, damages to property and abandoned personal property.
The province expects the legislation to come into effect in spring 2018.