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Consumer Guide to Cannabis
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This FAQ outlines when cannabis growth in a property creates a defect that must be disclosed, and what strata councils are able to restrict in strata complexes. Landlord and tenant’s rights are also outlined.
Does a seller or their real estate professional have to disclose if cannabis was used or grown in a home?
It depends. Sellers and their real estate professionals must disclose anything that falls within the definition of a material latent defect or a defect in the home that is not discoverable upon reasonable inspection. If the cannabis use or growth has created a hidden defect (such as mould behind walls etc.) and that defect is known to the seller and the real estate professional, it must be disclosed. If no damage has been caused to the property, neither the seller nor their real estate professional must voluntarily disclose that cannabis was grown or consumed there.
That being said, if you ask a seller or their real estate professional if cannabis has been grown or consumed on the property, the only option is for the seller to provide a truthful response or refuse to answer the question. They cannot provide a false or misleading response.
Please read the Material Latent Defects Consumer Guide for more information.
Can a landlord restrict the use of growing or smoking cannabis in a home you rent?
The Residential Tenancy Act permits a landlord to include a term restricting both the cultivation and consumption of cannabis in a property you are renting. In fact, if your lease prohibited smoking tobacco prior to cannabis being legalized, the lease is assumed to also include a prohibition on smoking of cannabis.
When it comes to growing, unless the landlord allowed you to grow medical cannabis prior to non-medical cannabis being legalized, your lease is assumed to prohibit the growing of cannabis.
Please visit the Residential Tenancies page.
Can my strata complex pass a bylaw restricting me from growing cannabis?
Yes. If your strata council passes a bylaw per the Strata Property Act which restricts or prohibits growing of cannabis, even in your strata lot, you may not be able to grow cannabis. It is important if you are shopping for a new strata lot to read the bylaws. You must also understand that bylaws are subject to change so while a strata complex may change their position with an appropriate vote of strata lot owners.
Can I get a mortgage or insurance on a property where cannabis has been grown?
Mortgage lenders and insurance companies each have their own policies on either funding mortgages or securing insurance against a property where cannabis has been grown. It is important to be honest and upfront with both your lender and insurer if you are looking to purchase a property where you believe that cannabis has been grown. In some instances, buyers have withheld information about cannabis being grown in a home they want to purchase, and the lender has either refused to fund the mortgage after it had already been approved, or the insurer would not cover the home causing a collapse in the sale.
If you are seller and you are growing legal cannabis, you may want to verify that the activity does not put you in breach of your insurance policy. A violation of your insurance policy may result in no coverage being given should anything occur prior to your home selling. Always check with your insurer prior to growing cannabis on your property.
If you are landlord and are permitting cannabis to be consumed or cultivated on your property, you should ensure that your homeowner’s insurance will cover any damage caused by the tenant in that respect.
This content was developed with financial support from the Real Estate Foundation of BC.