(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be acquired for specific circumstances.)
The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado in 2012 has given residential rental property owners another issue to consider when preparing their lease agreements. Rental property management Denver companies must ensure they have a clear, written policy regarding marijuana growth and recreational use that is in accordance with local and state laws. Regardless of the position taken by property owners, it is important to be upfront and transparent regarding views on marijuana with potential tenants before a lease is signed.
Property Owner Rights
In Colorado, property owners have the right to restrict the possession, use, growth and transfer of marijuana on his or her property. However, it’s in the the landlord’s best interest to have a clear and consistently enforced policy that is disclosed to potential tenants before any rental agreement is signed. If tenants aren’t informed of the policy prior to occupancy or if the policy is applied inconsistently it can leave the owner and property management company vulnerable to discouraged activities or even potential lawsuits. By including their marijuana policy in the signed lease, property owners and management companies can protect themselves from potential problems.
A contentious issue for Colorado property owners who don’t allow the use or possession of marijuana on their property is their rights when it comes to legally disabled medical marijuana users. It’s possible that a person with a medical marijuana certification could request “reasonable accommodation” for medical marijuana use as per the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Such a request could be deemed similar to disability appeals for wheelchair access or exceptions made for guide dogs.
Preventing Discrimination Lawsuits
A property owner and management company that doesn’t allow marijuana on their properties can defend themselves from discrimination lawsuits by presenting a clear and consistently applied policy regarding medical marijuana use prior to lease signing and occupancy. The federal Department Of Housing And Urban Development (HUD), which is responsible for the Fair Housing Act, takes the view that reasonable accommodation requests regarding medical marijuana are not admissible due to the federal Controlled Substances Act.
The Woodruff Real Estate And Property Management Difference
Regardless of your views on the use or possession of marijuana on your properties, Woodruff Real Estate And Property Management can accommodate and enforce your decisions on your behalf. As a rental property management Denver specialist, Woodruff will help you prepare a policy and lease that suits the needs of you and your property. Contact Woodruff today.