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For Landlords

Recommendations to prevent rental properties from becoming locations
of marihuana grow operations and drug trafficking

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Unfinished basements are modified to simulate a greenhouse type environment that is required by marihuana plants.

High intensity lighting and watering systems can range from very simple set ups to intricate assemblies.

Electrical hazards occur from overloaded systems.

Chemicals including fertilizers and pesticides enter municipal land fills and water systems.

Mold growth causes damage to the dry wall and interior of house.

Door barricades are intended to prevent intruders and home invasions.
  • Be aware that marihuana grow operations and drug trafficking can occur in any type of residence and in any type of neighborhood.
  • Be aware that groups involved in illegal drug production and trafficking are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods in order to conceal their activities.
  • Active property management reduces the chance of victimization.
  • Become familiar with the Alberta Residential Tenancies Act, the main provincial statute that deals with residential property rentals.
  • Take the time to screen prospective tenants:
    • Verify employment and personal references.
    • Request valid identification.
    • Avoid cash payments and pre-payment plans that encourage minimal contact between landlords, tenants and the rental property.
    • Communicate that you are a conscientious and diligent landlord.
  • Conduct regular, legal property checks
  • Develop solid relationships with neighbors surrounding the rental property. Invite them to contact you should there be any concerns regarding activities relating to your rental.
  • If you are an absentee landlord, designate a trusted person to conduct landlord duties for you.

Possible indicators of a marihuana grow operation

  • Insistence on cash rental payments.
  • Unauthorized modifications or unusual renovation requests (below).
    Unauthorized modifications or unusual renovation requests.

  • Tenants make repeated excuses for why the property can not be checked.
  • "Skunky" type odor of growing marihuana emanating from the house.
  • Tenants are rarely seen by neighbors.
  • Irregular snow melt patterns on the roof that are not consistent with neighboring homes.
  • Condensation on windows (below).
    Unauthorized modifications or unusual renovation requests.

  • Sweating or staining down the side of house from excess moisture (below).
    Unauthorized modifications or unusual renovation requests.

  • Electrical meters that appear to have been tampered with.
  • Windows that are completely covered from the inside but are made to appear to have open curtains or blinds from the outside (below).
    Unauthorized modifications or unusual renovation requests. Unauthorized modifications or unusual renovation requests.

Possible indicators of drug trafficking and/or drug use related to a residence

  • High levels of pedestrian and vehicle traffic to and from the residence.
  • Regular activity at very late hours.
  • Visits to the house that are frequent and last only minutes, if not seconds.
  • The number and identity of occupants may constantly change.
  • Short exchanges between individuals.
  • An abnormal amount of property going into the residence (small electronics, bikes, laptops and other stolen property used as currency in exchange for drugs).
  • Paraphernalia around the property (syringes, pipes, drug packaging such as tiny plastic "dime" bags).

Calgary Police Service

Contact the Calgary Police Service Drug Tip Line at 403-428-8100 if you have any concerns of illegal drug activity occurring on or in relation to your rental property.

Crime Stoppers

If you suspect drug activity, a marihuana grow operation or have information about any unsolved crime in your community and you want to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers.

Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams

Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) brings together Alberta's most sophisticated law enforcement resources to combat serious and organized crime.

  • The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Units (CFSEU) of ALERT specialize in organized crime, marihuana, drug and gang investigations.
  • Safer Communities and Neighborhoods (SCAN) teams target and shut down properties that are regularly used for illegal activities related to drugs, gangs, prostitution and child exploitation.

For more information about the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), please visit or email: