Cannabis smoking in property – what is the legal situation?

Cannabis smoking in property – what is the legal situation?

by Readers Question

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11:27 AM, 12th February 2015, About 9 years ago 25

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I’ve a property with 10 self contained units – one is smoking cannabis early morning (night workers) which is permeating the house – it’s the first thing you smell as you enter – they’ve been spoken to, obviously deny it, and it didn’t happen this morning. Though, I do know that high quality pre rolled CBD joints do not cause much harm, yet I’d rather not have the smoke on my property.

Does anyone know what the legal situation is with this or any experience, the lease obviously has no smoking, no annoyance etc clauses, the usual AST – but if they persist where do I stand, they’ve been there 3 months so not time to evict, though I will issue a S21 so they don’t continue the tenancy.

I’ve had the odd cannabis smoke smell before, people that use this are generally quite indignant to being told that it’s not acceptable, but it’s generally a one off.

None of the other tenants have mentioned it oddly.


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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

23:33 PM, 12th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Not only would I evict, I would call the police. It maybe just a joint to your tenant but for some other poor Landlord it was came from their property that got wrecked or burned to the ground in the process of cannabis farming.

Jonathan Clarke

3:42 AM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Elizabeth. Cannabis is an illegal drug. I`m sure you didnt intend to but your post rather incriminates you as it could be seen as an admission to you committing an offence under Sec 8 Misuse of drugs act 1971 by allowing your premises to be used for cannabis smoking. You are potentially liable for arrest and charge. You have put yourself in a potentially vulnerable position

I would take immediate steps to rectify and eliminate the situation and protect yourself from potentially getting a criminal record. Inform the police and serve notice on the tenants. ( Presumably your lease covers criminal activity which means they are in breach . If it doesnt your AST needs updating. )

Doing this will give you a reasonable defence if it goes wonky as you will now have demonstrated to the authorities you are doing all you reasonably can to address the criminality going on in your property which it appears you are currently guilty of allowing.

Graham Durkin

9:32 AM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jonathan Clarke" at "14/02/2015 - 03:42":

,i,m sorry but i think your post is a little heavy handed on this lady ,Elizabeth has come onto the site clearly for advice . we don,t know all of the facts ,she may have got the information from another person by explaining that there is a sweet smell as she enters the building and this other person says its probably cannabis.elizabeth has indicated a section 21 is to be issued. she should inform the police as it may be part of a bigger matter locally ,but has to be very careful accusing people without clear evidence to back it up .

Should she adopt the initial posters views then that is another matter.

11:20 AM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

The second thread I have read this morning about the consequences of prohibition of a drug that large numbers of people find entirely reasonable to use and ISCD's report grades as less harmful to either the individual or society than either tobacco or alcohol.

The USA didn't find that prohibition of alcohol worked very well in the 20s and 30s and in fact created and supported criminal empires of all sizes, from the likes of Al Capone right down to moonshiners while not actually stopping people who wanted to from having a drink (often of a badly-prepared poisonous concoction).

Uruguay has eliminated these issues at a stroke . . .

Oh, and before you ask, no I don't.


11:30 AM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jerry Jones" at "14/02/2015 - 11:20":

Obviously I've been following the thread with huge interest and it's fascinating to read the differing opinions from 'get over yourself' to 'turn yourself in to the police' - but this one is just plain irritating - we can't 'ban' anything as long as it's still readily available - they can smoke themselves brain dead, I really don't care - just don't do it under my roof and bring me into disrepute and make my property stink like a dope house.

Thanks all for your contributions - many and varied, I'll be issuing a S21, the smell has stopped, I doubt they have stopped.


11:32 AM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

The property in in Stockwell/borders of Brixton by the way, there is a very light touch on dope smoking in this area and other areas of central London, I doubt very much whether the overstretched police of Brixton (closest station) would be that bothered.

Sam Addison

14:27 PM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

I think you got it right Harlequin. The quiet word that you suspect cannabis is being used (You have no direct evidence!) seems to have solved the problem. Better by far than being heavy handed. BTW I doubt you could be in trouble with the law for not reporting suspicions.

14:38 PM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Indeed, I suspect the Babylon would laugh you out of the station if you tried!

Jonathan Clarke

15:31 PM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Graham Durkin" at "14/02/2015 - 09:32":

I sorry if it comes across as heavy handed but I guess because some of the other posts were rather along the lines of live and let live I felt the need to counter balance just to safeguard the OP as she did not know the legal position.

Cannabis is a funny old drug. Peoples views on it can be liberal which is fine and many want it to be decriminalised. Thats another argument though . As the law stands it remains rightly or wrongly an illegal drug and a landlord has legal responsibility and could get caught up in something unintentionally and the consequences can be potentially disproportionally harmful to yourself.

Substitute the word cannabis with heroin or crack and peoples views I suspect will change somewhat. Some will say cannabis is different its not the same and it isn`t in the same league. Thats right but that`s not the point at all . Cannabis is an illegal drug

And having even just a formal police caution can have long lasting repercussions on job prospects and travel plans etc. Certain countries would not allow you pass their borders. Certain jobs would become a no no.

The OP clearly states she has knowledge that an offence is being committed on a premises she controls and that makes her liable for a specific offence in her own right . By telling the police its not turning herself in at all. Its the opposite. It is turning the tenants in and thereby crucially automatically creating a reasonable defence to the criminal offence of permitting cannabis being used. Guilty knowledge and not acting on it in cases like this exposes oneself to potential legal repercussions.

This link shows why turning a blind eye maybe not such a good idea

This shows Sec 8d that a landlord who permits cannabis commits a criminal offence.

Your call


22:48 PM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Thank you - very sobering and I hope it's a wake up call for everyone who thinks it's just a bit of dope, a bit of fun, I've never gone down that road, but I didn't in my wildest dreams think that the repercussions on me could be so enormous.

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