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By Harsha Rathnayake

Founder, Junk Hunters


Landlords urged to be on guard against tenant's cannabis farms

Landlords are being urged to vet tenants carefully and watch out for the tell-tale signs that a property is being used as a cannabis farm.

Apart from the old factories and derelict hospitals these cannabis farms have been found in, they are also popping up in residential rental properties.

London-based rubbish removal firm Jack Hunters recently cleared out three houses that were converted into cannabis farms. Each time, the landlord was unaware. Such was the case with their most recent client, a landlord with a six-bedroom house in Stanmore, north London.


This property owner rented out his house to two tenants from Hong Kong. Everything was done through an letting agent, and there were no problems at the beginning. The landlord was satisfied with the tenants because they paid rent on time and didn’t cause any trouble – or so he thought.

After six months, the house was busted as an illegal cannabis farm. The landlord received a call from the metropolitan police, informing him of the situation.

The police confiscated and destroyed all the cannabis, then turned the house back over to its property owner. It was in a total state of disrepair. The landlord called the house clearance group to start the long cleaning and repair process.

Cannabis farms are spread across every single borough of the city, with more concentrated in south London.

By the latest numbers, Croydon had the most illegal cannabis farms, with 30 being found. 

With thousands of cannabis farms across the UK, landlords must be cautious.

Harsha Rathnayake is the founder of Junk Hunters.

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  • icon

    Actually tenants can do all sorts of things in their rented properties which are illegal, and/or against the terms of their tenancy agreement. Not sure why 'cannabis farming' is picked out for special attention. ('Farming' seems quite an strong and emotive word to use - wouldn't 'growing' be a better word? (I grow tomatoes on my window-cill - I wouldn't call that tomato 'farming'.)


    its intensive farming--staggering amount can be grown in small house--usually overseen by vietnamese--plod have tried to prosecute landlords

  • icon

    Police don't seem interested, I found one in a shop once, called the police, took them over an hour to get there, then parked a police van right outside, I don't think they want the paper work.


    What were you expecting?

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    I was expecting too much from present day coppers wasn't I ?

  • Suzy OShea

    well, one of the tell tale signs to watch out for is a huge spike in your electricity bill because they often use powerful electric lights to being on the plants. this happened in my house and it took me over a year to pay down the increased debt.


    why was it your debt?

  • icon
    • 13 February 2020 20:24 PM

    With the increasing installation of smart meters such usage of electricity will be monitored by computers which will detect unusual usage which will cause further investigations.
    Bypassing meters will need to occur to make things viable but this will flag up if any smart meter has been installed.

    But the 'farmers' could start using small diesel generators.
    LL will need to keep an eye on things for the foreseeable future.


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