Should homeowners have the right to modify their existing lease agreements to prohibit tenants from smoking cannabis in their apartment? The majority of New Brunswickers believe so. That’s the conclusion of a survey conducted in February by the Nova Scotia firm Corporate Research Associates (CRA).
According to CRA, the lease agreements do not contain a clause prohibiting the smoking of cannabis, as this product is illegal.
In New Brunswick, 68% of respondents believe that homeowners should have the right to modify existing contracts to prohibit smoking in their buildings. The Atlantic provinces average is 72%. According to the CRA, people with higher income or education are more likely to support the measure.
“There has been considerable debate surrounding the right of homeowners to smoke marijuana in their buildings. The vast majority of the public clearly supports the right of homeowners to amend lease agreements to ban legal marijuana in their buildings, “says Don Mills, CEO of CRA.
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Thierry Lebouthillier, Chairman of the Lebouthillier Group, believes that the contracts as they are formulated at present prohibit smoking anything, including cannabis.
Service New Brunswick’s residential lease agreements, used by virtually all homeowners in the province, do not specifically address cannabis. However, they contain a clause where parties have the choice to agree that “the premises or part of them are designated non-smoker”. The clause contains some lines where one can include details, if necessary.
For Mr. Lebouthillier, the clause is similar to that surrounding restrictions on domestic animals. It does not specifically name which animal is banned, and invites parties to include details as needed.
“If you want to have a horse as a pet, for example, it’s the same thing: there is no horse coming into the apartment.”
“You are not allowed to smoke tobacco, and you are not allowed to smoke anything. If we look at the contract, it’s very clear. There is no gray area, “concludes Mr. Lebouthillier.
The issue has been hotly debated in Quebec and Ontario, where homeowner associations are putting pressure on their provincial government. They are asking for the right to change existing contracts to ban cannabis smoke. The president of an Ontario apartment building group told CBC in January that removing the smell of cannabis from the walls and floor of an apartment can cost $ 5,000 to $ 6,000.
The CRA survey was conducted by telephone between February 1st and February 28th among 400 New Brunswickers. The margin of error is 4.9%, 19 times out of 20.