Sending the “DRUG LETTER”

There are a lot of posts on the web about the screening process, which is always a great start, but now that you have discovered the issue of possible illegal drug activity on the property, what can you do? 

Unfortunately sometimes unwanted renters slip through the cracks even after a thorough proper background check. At 200+ units, even we sometimes “win the lottery” with a bad renter. Here is what we do.

First, do not panic or overreact, stay professional.

Second, come up with a plan to make it “uncomfortable” for your entrepreneurial residents to set up shop on your digs. Your plan is to start a paper trail here. Installing exterior dusk-to-dawn motion detector lighting is always a good idea to keep all kinds of vermin off of the premises after hours. Especially the unwanted two-legged drug-dealing species. You can also instal inexpensive security cameras (no audio) from companies like ArloSimpliSafe, or ADT.

Third, is we we lovingly call the “Drug Letter”. This is a letter that we use when we even suspect their are drugs at a property. We never disclose the leads of who mentioned the activity. If asked who filed the report, we simply respond “We have been notified by other residents in the neighborhood and are doing our best top keep you and your family in a safe place to live”. Always protect the privacy of your source, or you will lose them.

We will print this on bright orange paper and posted on the entry points of the property so that ALL may see. Then we deliver a letter to each and every occupant in the building. Residents who are not involved with this activity will appreciate having the heads-up and that you have their back. The residents involved with this activity will automatically become paranoid, start to complain about their privacy, and as you ramp up your efforts, will eventually ask to break their lease because “there are drugs in the building”.

Problem solved. They have moved out and the activity has decreased. Now, you must be extremely careful on renting to the next resident moving in. They may be “competitors” of your past tenants looking to set up shop in a popular known location to establish a new business. Either way, you will get through this. You own the property and the residents are replaceable if needed. Also check out federal laws and penalties to landlords for knowingly allowing such activities.

But start building that paper trail TODAY!


Dear 123 Main Street Tenants,

There have been suspicious reports of drugs at this property. Please be advised that we are working closely with State and Local Police to monitor and resolve this situation. We have furnished them with keys to the common areas of the building and granted them permission to come and go as they please onto the property to investigate these complaints.

Please do not be alarmed if you see dogs on the property with the police. These are drug-sniffing dogs and are there to find and locate any illegal drugs that may be on the property. If drugs are found to be on the premises, we will prosecute to the full extent of the law and those tenants found to be connected to these activities will be asked to leave immediately, be evicted, and or have “no trespassing” charges filed against them.

We would also appreciate your observations reported to our office if there is any further suspicious activity on the premises. If you do see any patterns of behavior consistent with illegal drugs or distribution, such as the 5-minute frequent stops while someone waits in the car, please write down and give us the license plate numbers so we may forward those to the authorities for further investigation.

Again, we apologize in advance for any inconvenience or discomfort these actions or this letter may cause. But please rest assured. This type of activity in, on, around or at the premises will not be tolerated and these measures are being taken to keep the property safe, and to maintain and protect our tenants.

We truly appreciate that you live here in the rentals we manage and will continue to be diligent keeping the building where you live free from illegal drug activities for the well-being and benefit of the families that live there. Thank you again.

What’s on Your Mind?

Do you have any other ideas on this topic you could share to help our online community? Please chime in to share a comment or review. All feedback is welcomed. Thank you in advance for your continued support!

Warmest regards,

Brian Lucier
Belaire Property Management
Regional Property Manager
(978) 448-0669 office
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