What do you do if your landlord says no to smoking weed?

Landlords have until January 15 to let tenants know whether or not they'll be permitted to smoke cannabis on the property.

Leases cannot be altered after they've been signed, and any additional clauses have to be amended through proper legal channels.

The provincial government has given landlords the ability to retroactively add a clause to ban smoking marijuana. This is the only clause that is allowed to be placed on a lease after it has already been signed, following the October 17 legalization.

Landlords must issue the notice with the marijuana smoking prohibition before the January 15 deadline.

Arnold Bennett is a tenants' rights expert. He told CJAD 800 that "the problem we've been seeing in a few cases is the landlords are sending out the notices saying that you can't smoke cannabis, but they're not using the government and they're sneaking in additional clauses that they're not allowed to put in there."

"In those cases, we're telling people to refuse because the notice is not legal. If it only says no cannabis, then it is legal," he added.

He reported that some landlords would attach additional clauses to the notice that tenants cannot smoke marijuana — such as no pets being allowed or prohibiting smoking cigarettes.

"Now these additional clauses would be null and void because you're not allowed to change the lease retroactively," Bennett said.

Smokers of medicinal marijuana have a right to refuse the clause. 

They have to send a refusal to the landlord with proof of delivery — such as registered mail, through a bailiff, or hand delivery with receipt.

The landlord then has one month from a tenant refusal to apply to the rental board to have them rule on change of conditions of the lease.

A hearing will be held between the tenant and the landlord, the tenant must provide evidence that they require marijuana for medical reasons, and the commissioner will rule on the case.

Non-medicinal users of marijuana do not have a right to refuse the clause.