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Cannabis farm warning for landlords

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is warning landlords about the increasing number of cannabis farms set up in private rented properties.

The landlord body warned that insurance companies can often abandon landlords, and difficulty with the police can also be an issue for unsuspecting private landlords.

The RLA’s Landlord Advice Team (LAT) offers the following advice to landlords:

  • 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 irregular hours, for example.
  • Cannabis farms are notorious for the strong smell and could be as easy to identify as standing outside the door or lifting the letter box.
  • If you discover a cannabis farm/factory be sure to tell the police immediately. When you have alerted the police be sure to let your insurers know the situation.

The RLA said criminals will employ families to pose as tenants, and thorough checks are crucial in this regard: Look for multiple tenancies over a short period of time.

It added that cannabis farms can do thousands of pounds worth of damage to properties such as carpets being ripped up, holes put through walls, and watering systems that can cause months’ worth of repair work.

  • Kenny Sahota

    Practical but surely quite obvious advice from the RLA. It's shocking that this has become such a huge problem within the PRS.

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    Only two reasons it happens - Landlords and agents being too keen to take rent up front, especially 12 months worth, plus then Landlords not inspecting self-managed properties and agents not inspecting managed ones. One tip if you get one of these. Police will often change locks themselves, or request you to do so. Either way it is unlawful exclusion without a Court Order or an agreed surrender with the tenant (unlikely as they will have scarpered!)

  • Rob  Davies

    And sometimes, as we've seen today, the cannabis farms are set up by the landlord who then tries to blame the tenant.

    Maybe the RLA should be reminding landlords as well as tenants, no?

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    Sorry how does a tenant live in a cannabis farm oproperty and not know about it? How can a Landlord set one up and blame the tenant?

  • Michael Lamoureux

    Spy on them!

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