The housing laws in California have been changing dramatically, and with medical marijuana legal in the state, there’s a lot of confusion about what is and is not permitted in your Sacramento rental property. If your property is a non-smoking home, you aren’t required to allow your residents to smoke marijuana – even if it’s prescribed for medical reasons.
Having a strong lease agreement is important. Understanding the scope of the law is also important. If you’re uncertain about how to handle this, reach out to a local Sacramento property management company that can help.
Marijuana is Illegal Under Federal Law
Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, including California, but it’s still an illegal substance in all forms and for all reasons under federal law. If you have residents who need medical marijuana, they are required to register with the state and obtain a medical marijuana card. This will require them to provide the state with documentation from a physician.
In 2016, recreational marijuana was declared legal in California. However, there are still restrictions on where, how, and when it can be used.
Marijuana and Your Sacramento Rental Property
There are many ways for medicinal marijuana to be consumed. Some people take it in an edible form and others use oils. Many users also vape or smoke it, and that’s where you have the most freedom in placing restrictions on how marijuana is used in your rental home.
You are permitted to keep your rental properties smoke-free. This means that residents and their guests are not allowed to smoke anything in your house or at your property. The smoking restriction would include cigarettes and marijuana. There’s no legal protection that allows for smoking when you prohibit smoking at your property.
Smoking Policies and Your Lease Agreement
The best way to protect yourself and your property is by including a non-smoking policy in your lease agreement.
Everything that happens at your rental property starts with your lease agreement. You need a strong lease with specific expectations and responsibilities for your residents. Don’t be vague; you don’t want to simply include a “no-smoking” phrase. Be specific about what isn’t allowed. List everything from tobacco to marijuana to vaping products.
Communicate with Your Residents
Have a conversation with all of your new residents before they move into the property. While most of your lease signing and communication may be electronic, you want to make sure that you’re clearly establishing the rules of living in your property. Explain that you are renting that property to the residents with the expectation that there will be no smoking of any substance.
Set clear standards and consistent boundaries. When you have done this in writing and in person, there is no excuse for your residents to violate the lease agreement or to smoke marijuana in the property, even if it’s medicinal. They cannot claim they didn’t know it wasn’t allowed. If you discover something that violates your no smoking policy, address it immediately.
If you’re wondering how the laws pertain to your specific investment, contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more about this and talk about any of your property management questions.
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