Article by Bob Aaron, The Toronto Star
When marijuana becomes legal next summer, landlords, tenants and condominium owners can expect an increase in disputes related to both indoor and outdoor smoking.
Effective July 2018, anyone 19 and over will be able to smoke marijuana in their units and grow up to four plants per residence. The maximum height of the plants may not exceed one metre.
This raises the question of whether landlords and condominium boards will be able to prohibit both the cultivation and smoking of marijuana in residential units.
In the landlord-tenant sphere, landlords may legally prohibit smoking both tobacco and marijuana in new leases, but it may not be possible to prohibit existing tenants.
Condominium corporations can enact smoking bans by amending their declarations, provided that 80 per cent of the unit owners vote in favour of it.
Condo boards can also attempt to regulate cannabis use by enacting reasonable rules, striking a balance between the rights of smokers and non-smokers.
Any new rules might exempt existing owners or occupants as long as efforts are made to ensure that the second-hand smoke is self-contained. In addition, under our human rights legislation, some accommodation should be made for disabled individuals who smoke marijuana in their units for medical reasons.
In a growing body of cases in courts, landlord and tenant boards, and human rights tribunals, many rulings have been sympathetic to the plight of non-smokers unwillingly exposed to drifting second-hand smoke in their own homes. To date, the cases have dealt exclusively with tobacco use. But it is not unreasonable to expect more litigation starting next summer due to the effects of marijuana smoke.