HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Security Firm Offers Rental Service To Combat Grow-Ops
Pubdate: Thu, 08 Dec 2005
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Province
Author: John Colebourn
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Paladin Will Check For Landlords

Property owners nervous about renting to someone who plans on running 
a marijuana grow-op are using a new service to combat the problem.

Leo Knight, a senior vice-president of Paladin Security Group Ltd., 
said the company now has trained personnel who will monitor a 
landlord's property for any drug activity.

"For many landlords who live offshore, monitoring a property is 
difficult to do," said Knight. "There are a lot of reasons landlords 
need this service. They are not around or others are local but are 
intimidated or don't want to do the monitoring."

With the help of a former Vancouver Police Department drug squad 
officer, Knight said, employees with Paladin's mobile security unit 
are trained in what to look for when it comes to a grow-op. "They are 
looking for things like moisture on the windows and visually and 
physically check out the house."

In some cases, Knight notes, they will give a tenant notice they want 
to do an interior inspection. At a cost of about $25 a visit, Knight 
said the service is becoming more popular every day, especially with 
places like Richmond enacting bylaws that fine property owners for 
the expenses involved in busting a grow-op.

In Richmond, the bylaw enacted in July means property owners and 
managers are held accountable for the costs associated with a 
grow-op. City spokesman Ted Townsend said the bylaw is intended to be 
both preventative and punitive, and to date 16 property owners have 
been assessed fines ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. Homeowners are 
billed for the costs, and if they don't pay, they will find the 
amount added later to their property taxes.

Under the bylaw, property owners can be pursued for "all direct and 
indirect costs" incurred by Richmond Fire-Rescue, the Richmond RCMP, 
the city's business licensing and building approval departments, as 
well as costs for dismantling, removal, cleanup, transportation and 
storage, as well as disposal of equipment, substances, materials and 
other paraphernalia. "Owners have an obligation to monitor their 
premises on a regular basis to make sure there are no grow-ops," said Townsend.
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