Cannabis smoking in property – what is the legal situation?

Cannabis smoking in property – what is the legal situation?

11:27 AM, 12th February 2015, About 7 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.



Jessie Jones View Profile

0:19 AM, 15th February 2015, About 7 years ago

Just for clarity for anyone reading this thread; and you asked for the 'legal position'
This tells us that it is unlawful for a manager of a premises to permit the smoking of cannabis. As a landlord you have a degree of 'management' of the property.
This shows us the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines where it says that the turning of a blind eye may be sufficient to justify a charge.

I think that you have taken all the right steps by telling everyone that the smoking of cannabis is not acceptable and by serving the section 21. If you think that you have successfully put an end to this practice then you may not have to enforce the notice, just so long as you keep your paperwork to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to prevent the smoking of cannabis if ever the Police do get involved.
And for any landlords out there who are being 'complicit' in their tenants growing of cannabis, I can assure you that the Police will actively prosecute any landlord who appears to have turned a 'blind eye'.

Sam Addison View Profile

16:56 PM, 15th February 2015, About 7 years ago

Thanks Jessie for the links to the legal position. I was relieved to see 'The suspect must knowingly permit (wilful blindness may be sufficient, but not mere suspicion)' included. Although born in 1954 I would not recognise the apparently distinctive smell of cannabis being smoked so would need to see something fairly obvious to take me beyond mere suspicion.

Caroline Wright

0:06 AM, 21st May 2016, About 6 years ago

I live on the ground floor of block of 9 flats every night when we take rubbish out there is a strong smell of skunk been smoked in the communal hallway I recently gave up smoking so am particularly sensitive to the smell but it seems to linger throughout my flat for some time after going in and out the front door do I speak to the neighbour that I believe is the culprit even though we get on quite well do I contact my landlord a housing association as there are signs to say no smoking or do I call the police due to the illegality of smoking in public enclosed space and use of illegal substance x ☺

Jonathan Clarke

7:42 AM, 21st May 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Caroline Wright" at "21/05/2016 - 00:06":

The answer may depend on the dynamics between you and the neighbour and also the rest of the people in the block and their views. If your relationship with the neighbour is such that they would respond positively to such a conversation and the others in the block maybe would admire you and be glad that finally someone had the courage to tackle the problem head on then that may be the best course of action.

If however the neighbour may turn against you for poking your nose into their business and also a couple of the other people in the block also use drugs and would not welcome your ( as they see it ) holier than thou attitude then your, up to now peaceful life could suddenly turn a bit sour and you would wonder why on earth you got involved on a personal level.

If the latter is likely to happen then an anonymous letter to the landlord to point out the problem and also highlighting their responsibilities under the law as outlined above maybe the best course of action . Get them to do the dirty work in effect.

If after a reasonable time span that hasn't resolved the situation and you still feel strongly about it then tell the landlord that you have no alternative than to upgrade your intervention and report it to the police and that will have consequences for them now as they are consciously committing an offence alongside your neighbour . They themselves of course may upgrade it to the police stage. As a company they have a certain anonymity as a faceless organisation and that alleviates the personal angle to the matter unlike if you involved yourself directly.

We all see criminal / civil / moral / anti social offences being committed daily but its often a fine line as to what we as individuals do about it. Get the intervention right you get a pat on the back and win citizen of the year awards. Get it wrong and you can end up being hounded out of your home and physically attacked. If in any doubt about your own personal safety and your own communication skills to produce the right outcome then I would suggest bypass stage 1 and go straight to stage 2 or 3.

Good Luck

Graham Durkin

17:40 PM, 21st May 2016, About 6 years ago

Elizabeth, As you are the owner /landlord /company the buck will stop with you,I would initially write to every flat within the building informing them that CANNABIS is being smoked within the building which contravenes most tenancies, and the companies stance & overall policy on DRUGS,then write to the local Police informing them that DRUGS are being smoked within your building.Intelligence is key for the police and this info might be part of the bigger picture for them ,if you know any Tenants are being assisted by L.H.A. or the council then write to the council housing dept as there maybe CHILDREN living in other flats.At this time i would not be identifying any specific persons as the culprits as they could accuse you of harassment as you appear to have no physical proof.just monitor the situation closely and don,t go over board but always be seen to trying to deal with the problem rather than just accepting it as part of today s society issues. you may find that others know of it but are keeping quiet and you may find that in future somebody may well complain via a legal route that then puts you in the spotlight to answer.these views are only expressed as if it happened to me to try and keep ahead of the curve.

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