Shocking figures released this month by Lincolnshire Police reveal that in the past year, the force has located around 75 cannabis grows across the whole county.
A number of the grows were found in rental properties, and the police is now helping landlords spot the potential signs that their rental home is being used as a cannabis farm.
Signs that could be cause for concern
The police has issued some advice for landlords when it comes to deterring criminals from renting properties. The advice includes:
- Ask for a form of photo identification of potential applicants.
- Ensure identification has not been altered and is not fake. Make a copy or take a photograph of this identification.
- Watch for telephone accounts in different names.
- Check for water, gas and electricity accounts in different names.
- Require more than one type of identification for joint applications.
- Check prospective tenant’s current address.
- Check prospective tenant’s rental history.
- Obtain any mobile phone numbers of prospective tenants.
- Obtain car registration numbers.
- Be aware that many drug criminals use a ‘Front Couple’. These people will appear to be a genuine average respectable couple seeking to rent a property for their own use. After they have been shown around the property by the landlord and take possession of the property they will disappear without trace. They will then be replaced by members of the drug gang who will then convert the property for drug production or cultivation. Consider re-visiting the property a few weeks later to ensure that the person you rented to is in fact the occupier.
What should landlords do if they suspect that their tenant is growing cannabis?
Landlords who have reason to believe a tenant is growing cannabis are advised to ring the police immediately. If the police take action, they may serve a Closure Order. A police Closure Order is for a maximum of 48 hours and they must apply to a magistrate during that period for a closure order which can then be up to three months.
- If you have further concerns about this issue, remember you can give our advice team a call.
- The RLA is currently supporting the Home Office’s County Lines campaign whichaims to help landlords and letting agents spot the signs of County Lines. The term county lines refers to urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas, as well as market and coastal towns, by using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”.