Landlord Forced to Sue Tenants for Grow-Op Damage; Police See Increase in Hash Oil Explosions

by | Apr 28, 2014 | Tenant Screening

A landlord in Calgary says he had no choice but to sue his former tenants to recover $105,000 in losses caused from a grow operation in the rental property.

The landlord explained in the news that, while at least one tenant was convicted and ordered to pay restitution, that will cover only about 1/10 of the losses.

tenant screeningThe landlord told reporters that the tenants, a young family, seemed like the perfect fit for the rental home, ,located just across the street from an elementary school.

But after watching the police raid the rental home and witnessing the sophistication of the operation, as well as the extent of the damage, this landlord says he now sees things more clearly. His advice to other landlords: Make sure tenants know you’ll be doing inspections. That may deter a criminal from wanting to rent your property.

Running a tenant background check and speaking with previous landlords also will reduce the likelihood of renting to tenants who will misuse the rental property.

In related news, Edmonton’s ALERT Green Teams are warning about the hazard of hash oil extraction in homes. The flammable products used for this process are known to cause explosions.

Hash oil is made using the byproduct of a marihuana plant, with the leaves and stems being soaked in butane gas or isopropyl alcohol to extract the potent cannabinoid-containing resin. The process is very dangerous and has led to several explosions and fires in the past year. In May 2013, an explosion at an Evansburg extraction lab killed one man, left another man seriously injured, and completely leveled the home.

Officers say they are seeing an increase in the number of hash oil extraction labs in the province. Hash oil extraction process presents a whole new level of danger due to their use of highly flammable chemicals such as butane gas and isopropyl alcohol. Police ask that you report grow-operations.

“The hash oil extraction process is extremely dangerous for residents, neighbours, and first responders,” said Sgt. Dwayne Karpo of Green Team North. “We are seeing people try to emulate the process by watching videos on the internet but in some cases the results have been deadly.”

This past July an extraction lab explosion occurred in northwest Calgary’s Royal Oak neighbourhood. The force of the explosion shook through the house and buckled the garage door on a quiet cul-de-sac with children playing nearby. Firefighters first on-scene thought they found pipe bombs in the garage, which turned out to be homemade extraction filters.

“Extraction labs pose an increased risk to public safety, as well as emergency first responders,” said Fire Marshal Tom Karpa, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. “The volume of volatile and flammable liquids stored in an extraction lab generally far exceeds the allowable amount for a residential occupancy, greatly increasing the risk of fire and explosion. Firefighters are not expecting these types of volatiles when they respond to an event at a residential occupancy.”

The demand for hash oil, or cannabis resin, is attributed to the proliferation to the electronic cigarettes. Users report a more intense high than marihuana and it is more discreet with almost no odour.

In addition to the normal signs of marihuana grow-operations, which can be found at, hash oil extraction labs also produce an odour that is quite pronounced.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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