Aurora landlord finds pot grow in his tenant's basement; police do not go inside to investigate

AURORA, Colo. -

An Aurora landlord said he discovered a pot grow in his tenant's basement and was surprised when police said they would not go inside to investigate.

Mike Faybik said he is in the process of evicting his tenant for not paying rent this month at the Aurora rental home near Hampden Avenue and Chambers Road.

When Faybik went to talk with the tenant last week, Faybik and his wife asked to look around. The tenant allowed them inside. They walked around and discovered the pot plants in the basement.

"When we first went in there, we smelled marijuana. If you ever smoked a doobie, you know what it smells like," said Faybik. "There were all these marijuana plants and lights over the plants. I said, 'Oh my God, they're growing dope down here and we ought to call the cops.'"

Faybik said an Aurora police officer happened to be around the corner from the rental home when he went outside.

He said the officer told him, police could not enter the home.

"They said, 'Well, no we can't do that because it's…' I don't know, (he maybe said) a 'civil' matter,'" said Faybik.

7NEWS contacted Aurora police about the home. A spokesman could not comment citing an "open investigation."

The spokesman said if a landlord thinks illegal activity is going on they should call police, but the landlord cannot allow police to enter the home without the tenant's permission and without exigent circumstances.

Police can enter the home with permission from the tenant or a search warrant.

Faybik called 7NEWS because he was unsure about the new pot laws in Colorado.

Amendment 64 allows an adult to grow up to six plants in an "enclosed, locked space."

"Anybody in Colorado can grow marijuana for their own consumption. I didn't know. I had no idea," said Faybik.

The photos appear to show more than what's allowed by law.

Medical marijuana caregivers can grow more, but must have proof at all times of the patients.

We checked with the Department of Revenue, which deals with licenses for retail marijuana, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which tracks plants from medical marijuana caretakers and found out that it is not a public record to find out if someone can grow as a medical marijuana caretaker or medical marijuana user. Only police can access that information for verification purposes.

7NEWS went with Faybik and his wife to the rental home to ask the tenant questions about his grow operation. Even though we could hear a television through an open window, no one answered when they knocked.

The tenant has told Faybik he plans to leave by the end of the week.

Faybik does not specifically preclude marijuana in the lease he has with his tenant, but it does not allow his tenant to smoke in the home.

He said he does not want pot growing in his home, even if it is legal. Though, he just wants to know what is legal and what's not.

"I just hope this clears up that gray area," said Faybik.

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