OREA Real Estate College

What do you know about grow-ops?

A suspected drug lab in a Scarborough condominium forced the partial evacuation of the building, after a neighbour called police about a ‘strong chemical smell’ in one of the units.

That is what CBC News Toronto reported on October 28, 2012. Other similar examples abound.

As a REALTOR®, you are obligated to disclose any material fact about a property or its history you are aware of that could affect a person’s decision to buy the property. This includes discovering and disclosing if the owner/tenant used the property to manufacture illegal substances, such as marijuana and methamphetamine.

Here are some things to watch for:

•  A strong odour similar to skunk cabbage (this is the smell of bulk marijuana)

•  Little or no garbage pick-up every week

•  Except for junk mail, little or no postal delivery

•  Windows are blacked out or heavily draped

•  Frequent humming sounds of fans

Protecting Your Client and Yourself

Grow-ops can pose a number of health and safety risks, even after the dismantling of the operation. These include compromised structural integrity, and mould or other infestation caused by continuous exposure to large amounts of moisture.

To protect your client and yourself:

•  encourage buyer clients to obtain a home inspection before making any offer

•  include an appropriate clause in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale

•  enrol in the Grow-ops online continuing education course offered by OREA Real Estate College

At the conclusion of the Grow-ops course, you will be able to:

•  recount the ramifications of selling or leasing a property that has been used as a grow op

•  recognise the characteristics of a grow op

•  avoid liability by knowing what to disclose to the public about a grow op

Celebrating OREA’s 90th Birthday

The College is offering a free nine-credit bundle of CE online courses in celebration of OREA’s 90th birthday. This offer is available until December 31, 2012. Courses must be completed by December 31, 2013.

For more information, go to http://www.orea.com/cepromo?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=button&utm_campaign=cepromo.


Have you dealt in a transaction involving a grow-op property? How did you handle it?


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