Latest Landlord News by: Madalena Penny
A recent report by insurers, Aviva has revealed that landlords are still falling prey to cannabis farms and cultivators. Statistics now claim that properties being used as drug farms have reached an all time high.
The insurers claim that a growing increase in claims due to damage is now 30% higher than in previous years, the most recorded since 2007. Most damage is caused through the purposeful and strategic structural placement of holes made for ventilation, sometimes causing thousand of pounds of damage. Along with the installation of equipment for the growing of cannabis, dividing walls are knocked down to create a larger growing space as is damage caused by the illegal hi-jacking of electrical sources for heating and lighting.
“Landlords are more vulnerable to the increasing rise in cannabis farming”, warns Sim Sekhon from landlord network, ‘Legal 4 Landlords’.
“Cannabis growers particularly target properties advertised on the rental market. Houses can be rented easily using false identification and through landlord temptation of 6 months upfront rent in cash.
“If an offer is too good to be true, it usually is. The only failsafe to protect landlords is through properly placed tenant referencing, preferably the more thorough package as insurers may reject claims if their tenant vetting system is lacking or sloppy in any way.”
In England, an 18% increase on cannabis farms has lead police to publish further warnings to landlords and communities. In 2008/2009 there were 643,510 cannabis plants seized by police. In 2009/2010 this number increased to 758,700 but police believe that far more are established and go undetected.
Earlier this month, cannabis plants worth a street value of between £1.8m and £3.6m were seized by police in Birkenhead in Merseyside.
Landlords with any information or who suspect that their properties are being used for growth, cultivation or distribution should call police or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.