Headline stories in the private rented sector (PRS) recently have been circulating horror stories of landlords discovering properties being used to cultivate cannabis.
This isn’t something new to the RLA, indeed the Landlord Advice Team (LAT) field calls about two or three times a week from landlords that have discovered their properties were being used as cannabis farms. One such incident took a landlord by surprise when he went to check up on a property only to have the police invading the dwelling!
Since this is a very tricky, and serious legal situation, the RLA wanted to provide members with some key pieces of information that could prove pivotal to avoiding legal implication and renovation costs – insurance may not cover the damage and costs of repairs – that are often associated with farms being discovered.
Jim, of ‘HelpDesk Heros’ fame has provided the RLA campaign team with some tips to avoid litigation with prevention being the best solution.
- 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
- 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.
As always RLA members are encouraged to call in for any questions that they may have about potential cannabis farms, our Landlord Advice Team (LAT), formerly the ‘HelpDesk’ are knowledgeable and will do everything they can to help you recoup any loses you may suffer.
The RLA is currently organising a training course to help landlords understand their responsibilities and effectively deal with tenants who may have drug and other abuse issues.
View the course information here: Tenants & Drugs – know the score!