Kimberly Smith on how to manage tenants who eat and smoke marijuana in your rentalsAs most of you know I live and work as a real estate broker in Colorado, and everyone asks about marijuana.

Our first course of action, after recreational use was legalized, was to amend our leases to make sure the no-smoking-clause also included a no-smoking marijuana clause. The reality is, the general public thinks smoking marijuana is something different than traditional smoking, so you need to be very specific if you don’t want anyone smoking any substance- tobacco or otherwise- in your rental.

Today I took my car into the dealership for a minor repair and they gave me the complimentary rental car and reminded me not to smoke in the car.

Jokingly, I asked if they had changed their agreement to include no smoking marijuana and the associate pointed out that “yes” they had added that to the agreement and in fact they have had customers arrive smelling like marijuana wanting the complimentary rental and they have declined to allow them to use their rentals.

If you have rental properties in any state, especially a state with approved marijuana, just go and invest in an ozone machine to clean the air. I bought a Pro 3600-1 ozone generator 15 years ago and it still works like new. All you do is leave the ozone machine in the property overnight and the property will smell ready for the next occupant.

The reality is the legalization of marijuana hasn’t been a huge problem. Yes, we do have those tenants, especially those from out of state, who use their time in Colorado to try out this novelty. We have had those tenants who ignore the no-smoking policy and we have had to remind them or asked them to switch rentals to a smoking property.

While this may sound funny, the reality is it is very serious; our problem has been with the edibles.

There was a news story about a teenager who jumped off a balcony after consuming a marijuana laced cookie. So it turns out one cookie contained six servings of marijuana! Really! I mean who eats just one bite of a cookie? One of our Colorado offices had a cleaner rushed to the hospital because of an overdose after consuming an edible left in a rental after the tenant’s departure.

Tip: Alert all company staff never to consume any food left in a rental property; you just never know.

In the meantime both the general economy and the real estate industry is doing great here in Colorado so we don’t have anything to complain about.

Visit Kimberly’s website here.

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  • Kimberly Smith

    Kimberly Smith is the founder and CEO of AvenueWest Corporate Housing, a full-service property management program that is available across the United States. Visit for more details.

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