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Calgary Landlord Charged $5,000 After Reporting Grow-Op

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A Calgary man says a permit fee from the city adds insult to injury in the cost of repairs he must make after discovering a marijuana grow-op in his rental property.

Fraser Tuff rented out a home in the southeast neighbourhood of Mahogany in December.

Tuff called police when he became suspicious the tenant had started a grow-op. A grow-op was discovered inside and Tuff may have to pay up to $40,000 to fix the house.

He also has to pay $5,000 to the city for an environmental inspection permit and $1,800 for a fence around the house.

The city says the $5,000 fee is to cover the cost of city inspectors who supervise the clean up.

“The whole process is going to end up being incredibly costly to me and so looking back on it I kind of wish that I would have just phoned them and said get out now,” he said.

“However, I thought the safe thing to do would be to call the police and the right thing to do would be to get the guy arrested, because if I kick him out of my house he's just going to move into someone else's right?”

Tuff said the city should waive the fee to encourage people to do the right thing.

“I'd like them to do whatever they can to help me,” he said. “I don't expect them to buy materials for my house or pay for the labour to fix it, but I do expect that they don't nickel and dime me with bureaucratic garbage.”

Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart said the city needs to review these costs.

“We really need to look at the way the bylaw stands and see what kind of discretion we can bring to it so we don't further penalize a homeowner,” she said.

Colley-Urquhart said most grow-ops are owned by organized crime, and the criminals should have to pay all the fees.

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