Cannabis Farms In Rented Property – RLA Advice

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Cannabis Farms In Rented Property - RLA Advice

Cannabis Farms In Rented Property – RLA Advice

Residential Landlords Association Offers Advice To Landlords Who Suspect That Their Rental Property Is Being Used For Illegal Activities

Following on from our report on Cannabis Farms In Rental Properties, posted last Tuesday, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have also issued advice to UK landlords about rental properties being used as cannabis farms.

As we previously reported, the past few months have seen many headline stories in the press about landlords facing massive repair bills after discovering their rented property had been used to grow illegal drugs.

The RLA says it receives calls from landlords about two or three times a week, who have discovered their rental properties are being used as cannabis farms.

As Legal 4 Landlords have already stated, there is a danger that some landlord insurance policies may not cover the cost of repairing the damage after a cannabis farm has been found in a rental property, however if there is a cannabis farm nearby, there may well be an increased risk of being burgled and gang activity could also increase in surrounding areas.

Since this is a very complex and serious legal situation, the RLA want to provide landlords with some key pieces of information that could prove pivotal to avoiding legal implication and renovation costs.

Jim Lougheed, from the RLA’s Landlord Advice Team, issued the following advice for landlords:

  • If you discover a cannabis farm in your rental property, tell the police immediately.
  • When you have alerted the police be sure to let your insurers know the situation.
  • It is difficult for a landlord to protect themselves, but doing regular checks can help identify tell-tale signs early on.
  • Be vigilant of suspicious behaviour: curtains/blinds closed all day, lights on all day, coming and going at all times.
  • Having an idea of your tenant’s lifestyle is helpful, as a night worker will keep traditionally unsocial hours.
  • Cannabis farms are notorious for the strong smell and could be as easy to identify as lifting the letter box.

The RLA are currently organising a training course to help landlords understand their responsibilities and effectively deal with tenants who may have drug and other abuse issues.

Police are warning private rented sector landlords that not only will they be faced with a hefty repair bill for damages to their rental properties, but they may also face prosecution under the Misuse of Drugs Act if they fail to take appropriate measures to ensure that their rented properties are not being used to grow cannabis.

In fact, Derbyshire constabulary are leading the way in the crackdown on illegal practices in rented property, having released a statement urging landlords to periodically visit their rental properties in the search for illegal activity including cannabis farms.

With an increase in the number of cannabis farms cropping up in both private residential and rented properties, Derbyshire constabulary are asking landlords to watch out for tell-tale signs of cannabis farming and to report any suspicious activity by calling Derbyshire police on 101, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The campaign aims to inform residents of the rise of crime that cannabis farming can bring to a local area, including the rise of burglary and gang activity in surrounding neighbourhoods.

Steve Holme, leading expert on drugs for the Derbyshire police force, said: “Criminals often set up these large cannabis farms in rented houses or flats and the damage they cause is absolutely shocking. In a short space of time they can tear the furniture out, gut the whole place and have cannabis plants growing in every single room. They mess with the power supply, punch holes in the walls for ventilation, leave the garden and exterior of the property to degrade and generally make the house uninhabitable. What many landlords don’t realise is that, if their residential property is used for this criminal activity, they might not be able to claim for any damage on their insurance, which leaves them with a massive bill once the farm has been discovered. They have a responsibility to monitor these properties and it will be pretty obvious if one is being turned into a cannabis farm, so let the police know immediately if you suspect this is happening near you.”

If you do spot any sign of illegal activity or cannabis farming in rented property, contact the police on 101, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 11:28 am. Filed under Insurance. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.