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Is your dream house a former grow-op? Realtors say right now, it’s hard to say

B.C.'s real estate industry says there's no province-wide standard for tracking home "drug operations," or for doing cleanup afterward.
B.C.'s real estate industry says there's no province-wide standard for tracking home "drug operations," or for doing cleanup afterward. RCMP

B.C. realtors are calling on the provincial government to improve regulations protecting would-be home buyers from houses damaged by drug production.

It comes as the Ontario real estate industry appeals to legislators to toughen up regulations protecting consumers ahead of the expected legalization of marijuana this summer.

READ MORE: Ontario landlords want right to ban pot in rental units despite tenant laws

“Our concern is with the damage done by a grow-op,” said BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) government relations manager Norma Miller.

WATCH: National landlord group wants government to ban residents from growing marijuana plants

National landlord group wants government to ban residents from growing marijuana plants
National landlord group wants government to ban residents from growing marijuana plants

“Not just the fact that there was something grown there, because any kind of plant can cause damage, but it’s the damage we’re concerned about. Is there mould? Has the electrical been tampered with? Are there chemicals around?”

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Miller says as it stands now, those questions are difficult to answer for consumers because there is no consistency across the province about the documentation of drug history in a home or rules about repairs.

LISTEN: Ontario Real Estate Association calls for protections as legalization of marijuana looms

She said the BCREA wants the province to come up with a meaningful definition of a “drug operation,” and to create a centalized, consistent process for disclosing the drug history of a home.

And she said the province needs to get serious about ensuring homes that housed drug production are clean and safe for their next owners.

“What we really want to see, whether it’s a legal grow-op or not, is a remediation standard that would put homeowners at ease, renters at ease,” she said.

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READ MORE: B.C. to ban the sale of pot in liquor stores, allow landlords to ban home-grown grass

“There’s no provincial standard for remediation, provincial or national. That’s left up to local governments, and that’s a wide range of practice.”

Miller said the issue was last discussed with the province in November when the industry raised it during consultations, but that there has been no word on possible changes since then.

In Ontario, realtors have called for a suite of changes to act as a “regulatory shield” to protect unsuspecting buyers from health and safety hazards. Among the proposals is a limit on the number of plants that can be grown in a 1,000 square foot condo to one, down from the federal limit of four.

Global News has requested comment from the provincial and federal governments.