Manitoba realtors call for centralized grow-op registry
The Manitoba Real Estate Association is asking that former drug production site info be available to public
The Manitoba Real Estate Association wants action from the province on drug production houses.
The association is pushing for a centralized public registry for all grow-ops or drug production sites.
Claude Davis heads up a task force looking into the issue.
He said RCMP and Winnipeg Police are collecting information on such properties, but there is no publicly accessible site where people can see if a home they are interested in buying was a former drug house.
Davis sent a letter to the province in April calling for a meeting to deal with the issue.
Registry: pros and cons
Sam Soutchaith and his brother want to fix up and sell a house they’ve purchased. They knew it was a grow op, and got a deal on the property.
"That's cheap, so now it's worth more, maybe double, maybe triple," said Southclaith.
Lorne Weiss, Manitoba Real Estate Association chair person, is one of those interested in the creation of a public registry.
She's concerned that touch-ups can hide more serious issues in these properties.
"A coat of paint can do a lot of things, in terms of cosmetics, but it won't deal with the issues," said Weiss.
The association points to things like mould and lack of ventilation as possible problems hidden beneath the surface of superficial renovations.
The Winnipeg Police Service is in favour of providing greater access to information on a house's history, but some officials have concerns.
Detective Natalie Aitken cautioned that former drug houses fixed up properly might be negatively impacted by such a registry.
"We need to be very careful with legislation in terms of people's privacy and keeping that up on our site," said Aitken.
A coat of paint can do a lot of things, in terms of cosmetics, but it won't deal with the issues.- Lorne Weiss
Along with the registry, the Manitoba Real Estate Association also wants standards for fixing up a drug production house — currently there are none in place.
The association of realtors came up with recommendations after a year-long task force finished investigating, but they've lobbied the government for a registry for years.
"Government moves slowly,” said Weiss. “From our industry point of view, a long time is 60 days, so you can imagine our frustration."
Right now, a realtor is only forced to disclose a former grow house by law if they know about its past.
The Association of Saskatchewan Realtors called for the creation of a similar registry in February.