Realtors press Queen's Park for grow-op registry

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is championing the Clandestine Drug Operation Prevention Act, 2013, which would create a registry of MGOs, marijuana grow operations, made accessible to potential homebuyers. Their position undoubtedly stems from the results of a study commissioned by the association last year, that found 93 per cent of Ontarians would want to know if a would-be purchase was previously a grow-op.

Jordan Raspberry, Core Assets Inc. Real Estate Brokerage, agrees that the step is a necessary one. Having sold a home that was previously a grow-op, he knows first-hand the difference disclosure can make when it comes to resale.

“I think it’s a great thing. I think that any major defects or stigmas for any house should be disclosed to the public,” he says. “I’ve sold a house before that was a grow-op, and it affected the value of the house by $75,000 - $100,000.”

Raspberry also notes that the stigma alone of a property’s history as an MGO lowers the resale value, and can make it hard to sell at all.

The registry would also help investors dodge a bullet on the refurbishment costs associated with undoing the structural damage an MGO can cause. Drug operations can result in mould, electrical issues, chemical and hazardous material contamination and more.

“To fix these issues requires things like re-doing drywall and re-insulating, and there are costs involved with that,” says Raspberry. “Grow-ops cause extensive, expensive and sometimes irreversible damage to a house.”

Ottawa-based Realtor Pat Verge sits on the OREA board of directors, and believes the passing of the bill will help protect consumers across the province in facing what has been a long-time problem in the province.

Grow-ops are a major problem for homebuyers in the province and we have been urging the Ontario government to establish a registry to protect consumers for over ten years," she says."We urge the Legislature to pass this bill in order to protect homebuyers."

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