The second REALTOR® issue of this year’s Political Affairs Conference is:
Marijuana Grow Operations & Clandestine Laboratory Registry
What is the Issue
Properties that were formerly used to manufacture illegal substances (e.g. marijuana and methamphetamine) can pose a number of health and safety risks to home buyers.
At present, there is no mechanism in place to allow REALTORS®, lawyers and other professionals to find out if a property has been designated by a law enforcement authority as a marijuana grow operation (MGO) or clandestine laboratory.
I’m a REALTOR®. What does this mean to me?
Real estate brokers and salespersons are obligated to disclose any material facts about a property or its history they are aware of that could affect a person’s decision to buy.
MGOs/clandestine labs can be hard to spot after an operation has been dismantled, particularly if the house had several buyers in the past. Mould can be especially difficult to detect.
OREA is currently a member of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) Provincial Advisory Group (PAG) on MGOs/clandestine labs.
OREA and PAG members met in March 2009 to determine the merits for a registry of former MGO properties. In July 2010, PAG recommended that the Minister commence legislative or equivalent enhancement of the Municipal Act, 2001 to require municipalities to register work orders issued by the municipal building official for the purpose of remediating a MGO/clandestine lab on title of a property. The government has not responded to PAG’s recommendations.
In December 2011, the RCMP announced that they would be establishing a nationwide public registry of former marijuana grow operations. Due to the limited jurisdiction of the RCMP in Ontario, the registry includes only a handful of properties in this province.
OREA supports the creation of a MGO/clandestine lab registry using the Land Title System and therefore urges the Government of Ontario to act on PAG’s recommendation.
The MGO/clandestine lab registry using the Land Title System will mitigate risks to consumers by ensuring that properties used as former MGOs or drug laboratories are disclosed prior to completion of a real estate transaction.