Local News

New laws let renters smoke marijuana inside their homes

New marijuana laws could be a challenge for landlords

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Landlords are trying to figure out ways to ban pot from their properties, but with new marijuana laws in effect, it is going to be tougher.

"I'm paying the rent (at my apartment complex); therefore I should do what I please," said renter Sheri Austin, who is referencing that she can smoke marijuana inside her apartment.

She has state law on her side.

Before the new laws, landlords could ban marijuana, unless their tenant used it for medicinal purposes.

Property manager Wayne Guthal is having a hard time enforcing the new laws on his renters.

He said smoking in general is a big issue with his owners.

Guthal said all he can do is put a no smoking clause in a lease agreement, if the terms are violated it will be hard to tell their renter to leave. 

"We can go through the process of eviction, but will we get the eviction? That's where we have to wait and see," Guthal said.

Attorney Mike McDivitt said it is a tough time to be landlord.

He said it's going to take time to interpret the law.

"This is going to be ripe for litigation. This whole thing is going to do nothing but foster litigation," McDivitt said.

He feels even though the property belongs to the landlord, the tenant is living in it.

"(Landlords) have the right to rent to whoever they want. On the other hand, if they enter into a lease, that's (the tenant's) home," McDivitt said.

The new laws could be hard on Kimberley Hoadley's lungs.

"The smell of it makes me sick," she said.

She wants recreational marijuana banned from her apartment complex.

"I really don't think it's necessary," Hoadley said.

You have to be over 21 to smoke marijuana.

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