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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3628
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I suspect that my current tenant is a weed grower. My tenant

Resolved Question:

I suspect that my current tenant is a weed grower. My tenant hasn't started growing yet (since they've been only renting the house for 1 month only), but I can see they are setting up the place (by sneak peek inside the house after suspicious activities).What should I do? I am on a one-year lease with them, and I want to terminate the lease with them immediately.

Also, I'm pretty sure the tenant doesn't have a medical license for growing weed.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
TexLawyer :

Assuming you have a standard lease agreement, there isn't much you can do as long as they are abiding by the terms of hte lease.

TexLawyer :

However, if they do begin growing marijuana, you should be able to terminate the lease without a problem.

Customer :

can i go to the cop and inform the cop that i suspect my tenant is growing weed?

TexLawyer :

Have they met all their obligations thus far?

TexLawyer :

Yes, however you don't have enough information for them to take any action yet.

Customer :

well in my lease, i listed that "


 


ALTERATIONS: Tenant shall NOT remodel, renovate, paint, refinish floors, or otherwise alter the Premises without prior notification to Owner"

Customer :

and i noticed he changes the blinds today

Customer :

previously it was curtain

Customer :

today he changed the windows to blinds (used to be curtains) without telling me in writing in advance

TexLawyer :

If, however, you see actual marijuana and you can inform the police and they should be able to get a search warrant and arrest them.

Customer :

i'm not sure if i can use that point to terminate lease with him?

TexLawyer :

As for the blinds, if you give them notice they have the opportunity to remedy.

Customer :

i don't think he has started growing marijuana yet though. so even if i go to the cop right now, the cop won't do anything?

Customer :

so the blind won't be enough reason to terminate the contract right?

TexLawyer :

At this point, there isn't much the police can do. Suspecting a person will commit a crime in the future isn't actionable.

TexLawyer :

No, the blinds probably won't work. Once you give them notice they are in violation of the lease, they will probably just put the blinds back.

Customer :

however, after i go to the cop, can i use the reason that "i suspect you grow weed in my house" to terminate the contract?

TexLawyer :

If they didn't, however, you may be able to evict them,

TexLawyer :

Unless they are actually growing marijuana, no.

Customer :

Sir, please really advise me because I'm getting very worried and scared. If I go to the cop and inform them that I suspect the tenant might be growing weed, will the cop go to the house immediately? or will the cop take any actions at all (besides opening a file and record down what I say)?

TexLawyer :

If you go to the police and tell them that you suspect your tennant will grow marijuana in the future, the police will not do anything. If you go to the police and tell them that he is currently growing marijuana (or engaged in other illegal activity) they will get a search warrant and arrest him.

Customer :

So there is really nothing I can do at all before he starts damaging my property?

Customer :

and starts growing weed?

Customer :

is there anything i can do at all?

Customer :

what can i legally do?

TexLawyer :

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do until he actually violates one or more of the terms of the lease.

TexLawyer :

I wish I had better news, but contract law does not allow you to break a contract unless one party doesn't hold up their end. Have you considered confronting your tennant?

Customer :

So I cannot break the contract myself at all? I don't mind give him the entire deposit. I also don't even mind refund his first month of the rent (he only lives there for a month)

Customer :

returning(

Customer :

returning*

TexLawyer :

Legally, no. You would be subject to lawsuit.

Customer :

How would you advise to confront the tenant then?

Customer :

How should I confront the tenant?

TexLawyer :

I would suggest you send them a letter explaining your concerns, and advise them that if they engage in illegal activity they will be immedeatly evicted. Also, in your letter, you may give them the option to break the lease immdeatly with no penalty and complete refund of their deposit.

Customer :

I see.

TexLawyer :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer :

I'm sorry, but I just want to understand more clearly. If I go to the cops and tell them that my suspcions, the cops won't do anything?

TexLawyer :

No. What, exactly, do you expect the police to do when no crime has been committed?

Customer :

because it's similar to the analogy that I hear screamings in the house and suspect that someone is killing another person inside the house. In that scenario, I can call the cops to ask them to check it out right?

TexLawyer :

Yes, but that is a situation where an actual crime is probably being committed at that time. In your situation, no crime has been committed yet.

Customer :

the thing is, I find him that he is about to perform a crime. he has covered the entire house (which is covered in carpet) with plastic floor coverings already. 90% sure he is starting to perform the crime though

Customer :

he's setting up right now, just haven't started growing the actual plant yet

TexLawyer :

Again, no crime has been committed yet, so the police will not arrest him, and you cannot evict him. I don't know how to put it any more simply than that.

TexLawyer :

Can I help you with anything else?

Customer :

I see.

TexLawyer :

If you don't have any more questions, please click "Accept." Good luck.

Customer :

I think for now I don't have anymore questions at this point. thank you very much for your assistance, and i greatly appreciate you taking your time to answer my questions!

Customer :

ok.  thank you!

Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3628
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
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