|CONDOCENTRIC: Mould and Grow-Ops: A Growth Industry|
The prevalence of grow-ops in Canada can be attributed to one single stimulus – money to be made; lots and lots of money. A typical grow-op consists of about 400 plants which can be harvested every 3 months. This cycle will produce 1,600 plants per year which can generate a return of $1.6M annually.
It is not just because of the money, however that grow-ops are spreading in Canada – lenient sentences imposed by the courts is also a factor. While the maximum sentence is seven years, current sentences imposed by Canadian courts, range from fines to short-term incarceration. Grow operators simply regard these fines as the cost of doing business.
Grow-ops require huge amounts of electricity to run lights, fans and other equipment. This inevitably leads to the danger of fire. Chemical contaminations from the use of pesticides and fertilizers used to ensure a robust crop contribute to respiratory dangers as well as fire hazards through co-mingling of substances.
Discovering a grow-op can be a peril unto itself – when you suspect a grow-op calling in the police is the best first line of defense. Officers are trained in personal safety and have had to be wary of traps or deterrents that “growers” will put in place trying to avoid detection. The dismantling procedure is best left to the proper officials and can involve other city agencies. (Note that police are not tasked with the “clean up” process after a grow-op has been discovered as that will fall to the unit owner.)
2. Screen prospective tenants and check references thoroughly
3. Record and check all identification details
4. Make arrangements to personally accept the rent cheque each and every month - Don’t accept cash or post dated cheques
5. Make it a written requirement of the lease that tenants have full insurance and ask to see a copy of the policy and premium receipt
6. Be present when the tenants are moving in and reinforce special conditions of the lease at this time
Mould is a complex subject. This information is of a general interest nature and not intended for use in dealing with any specific problem. Readers who believe they may have a mould problem are encouraged to get specific advice from an Industrial Hygienist or Environmentalist. Rainbow Mississauga Ltd. is a fully insured and certified Mould Remediation Specialist. Please visit: www.rmlservices.ca.
From “Common Elements” Spring 2007
All of the information contained in this article is of a general nature for informational purposes only, and is not intended to represent the definitive opinion of the firm of Elia Associates on any particular matter. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this newsletter is accurate and up-to-date, the reader should not act upon it without obtaining appropriate professional advice and assistance.