Everyone would agree that growops are not a good thing for any neighbourhood. But from a REALTOR® perspective, it’s even more of a conundrum. As a REALTOR®, we represent the buyer or the seller to the best of our ability using all of the resources to sell or buy that home. When it comes to grow-ops, we want to work with the seller to ensure the property is safe, but how do we really know?

Grow-op properties require effective remediation before being put on the market, but the absence of provincial standards for air quality means undetected mould could resurface, even after a home is declared safe.

To make grow ops into livable properties, some legislative standards are required. Standards are in place for the other construction aspects of the home; included in plumbing, heating, ventilation, electrical and structural integrity, so why not include standards for growop properties?

Madeline Sarafinchan, president of the Alberta Real Estate Association, readily acknowledges that “grow op properties that are not effectively remediated pose several long-term health and safety risks and, with no enforceable standards in place, protecting consumers is difficult.”

As a REALTOR® and buyer/seller representative, we want to be able to effectively integrate remediated properties back into the real estate market while protecting our clients and minimizing the health and financial risks associated with these properties.

Currently, there is no established mechanism to license, regulate, permit or certify people or companies who investigate, remediate and test the environmental conditions in former illegal drug operations. There are companies that market themselves as ‘certified mould-environmental consultants’ but they are not government regulated or endorsed and, without clear standards set, how do we know if they have the sufficient qualifications to properly undertake the work?

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) is advocating for legislative changes and through our political action committee we will work to bring this issue to the forefront in the upcoming Alberta provincial election.

In short, to make grow ops into livable properties, some legislative standards are required. Without them, it is difficult for consumers to determine if the property has been restored properly.

From CREB President Bob Jablonski