RCMP to List Crime Properties, Tells Landlords to Run Credit Checks

by Chris on September 26, 2011

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has new plans for stopping drug operations.

Dubbed the Marijuana Grow Initiative, efforts will focus on rental properties because most Marihuana Grow Operations (MGO’s) are set up in residential or commercial rental properties, according to RCMP.

Often, these buildings are altered to accommodate equipment required to grow marihuana, which poses serious risk of property damage and injuries.

Part of the plan includes a new page on the RCMP website which lists properties where a grow operation or clandestine lab was discovered.

Any property flagged on the website will remain on the list for one year.

RCMP favours the plan because it provides neighbours and potential buyers with notice that hazards may still exist on the property.

“MGOs harm communities. Wherever they exist, there’s the potential for an increase in criminal activity and a greater chance of fire, explosions, and violence,” stated RCMP A/Commr. Mike Cabana. “This initiative is part of the RCMP’s renewed commitment and priority to combat marihuana production controlled by organized crime groups.”

Selling an investment property that was the scene of a grow op can prove difficult.  According to Gary Morse, CREA President, “The structural integrity and inhabitability of such houses may be compromised and prospective buyers need to know that costly remediation may be needed to correct health and safety issues.”

According to the RCMP, landlords who want to avoid income loss should carefully screen rental applicants.  RCMP advises landlords to obtain a credit check. In addition, references should be mandatory and followed up.  Landlords are also encouraged to check up on the rental property on a regular basis. “A crop may take two to three months,” according to RCMP. “Checking your property every four to five weeks is recommended.”

When inspecting the property, be alert for signs of a potential grow operation, including:

Foundation walls may be drilled to facilitate illegal wiring, other electrical rewiring/tampering in the home.

Tenants may be reluctant to allow landlords to inspect the property and may insist on paying rent in cash.

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).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

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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