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Letters: Grow-ops are a big problem

In Niagara Falls and I’m sure throughout Canada, Realtors are selling homes that have been used as grow-ops. The buyer is not aware because the Realtor is not telling him.

Nor is the lender aware, since money for the mortgage would not be available if they were. For insured mortgages, CMHC and GE will not insure homes that were previously used for grow-ops even if they have been remediated. So, the only way to get financing is not to tell the buyer or the bank. Problem solved.

It’s one teeny little lie, except it is fraud. If found out, the Realtor could be charged. He or she could possibly not only lose their license, they risk being sued and who knows what else?

I spoke to a Realtor from one of the largest franchises and he asked me, “What should I do?”  I advised him to either cancel the listing or declare the home was previously a grow-op. I did not follow up as I am aware of many homes in the same circumstances that have been sold and sold again. I think the answer is, if a home has been remediated, CMHC and GE should insure the mortgage lender. In Niagara Falls, the fire department checks the air quality and declares that the home passes their test.

It’s time the government authorized CMHC and GE to insure these homes if they have been remediated and passed whatever requirements are necessary, thereby taking the risk off the bank.

I have not seen anything written about this problem. Sooner or later, a buyer will discover he has purchased a home that has been used as a grow-op and he will sue everyone involved.

Charles Wood

Broker of Record

Sunshine Realty Corp., Brokerage

Niagara Falls, Ont.