HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Landlords' Association Criticizes Proposed
Pubdate: Thu, 05 Aug 2004
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Vancouver Sun


CHILLIWACK - The association representing B.C. landlords is critical
of Chilliwack's new city bylaw penalizing property owners for tenants'
marijuana-growing operations.

The bylaw, which passed third reading Tuesday night, allows penalties
of up to $10,000 for landlords whose buildings are used to grow or
produce illegal drugs. The fine will only be imposed on landlords who
have been negligent in inspecting their properties, said mayor Clint

The property owner must demonstrate that he has visited once every 90
days to avoid the fine, Hames said.

"I don't think that's an anti-landlord bylaw by any stretch of the
imagination," Hames said.

The bylaw was passed unanimously and will be in force in two weeks. It
was created after consultation with local property owners. "It's got
the support of the landlords in our community," said Hames.

The head of the BC Residential Owners and Mangers Association (ROMA)
said it lumps good landlords in with bad.

"The most diligent landlord is probably going to avoid the grow op,
but that's not guaranteed," said ROMA CEO Al Kemp. Marijuana growers
can either use fake identities or hire people with no criminal record
to rent a home, making background checks useless.

A medium-sized grower can also avoid inspections by the owner.
Landlords must give 24 hours notice before inspecting a home, and a
marijuana grower can simply take his plants and leave in that time.

Kemp said there are some landlords who either knowingly harbour
marijuana-growing operations, or who are negligent and don't inspect
their properties, but those landlords should be prosecuted criminally.

"The landlord's already, if you will, paid the penalty," for having a
growing operation, Kemp said.

Building owners can see between $10,000 and $50,000 in damage after a
growing operation is discovered. 
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