Landlords were warned of the dangers of renting properties without due diligence. At an information evening organized to warn landlords on how to avert being duped into renting properties to illegal drugs organizations, D.I. Bill Stupples of Merseyside Police Matrix Unit gave advice on the dangers of drug cultivation and manufacture in rental properties.
Susceptible landlords who have let properties without taking the necessary steps of tenant referencing, have been left with thousands of pounds worth of damage and loss of rental income, then find that their insurance doesn’t cover the damage.
Along with the financial loss, two properties in Merseyside used for growing drugs were defended through an array of booby traps akin to jungle warfare. Drug cultivators have been known to place metal spikes hidden under cardboard beneath windows and bare live electrical cables running across frames in a bid to deter rival drug gangs and local criminals. There were 3000 properties found by police last year in England and Wales used for illegal drug operations, of which 280 properties were used for cannabis growing in Merseyside. Volatile chemicals and un-secure hijacking of electrical use have resulted in fires.
“Landlords tempted by potential tenants offering 6 months rent in advance should be vigilant and ensure they carry out the necessary reference checks,” suggested D.I. Stupples.
Industry Lettings Spokesman Sim Sekhon of Legal 4 Landlords agreed, “Thorough tenant referencing cannot be stressed enough. Many landlords are left victim to unscrupulous and dangerous people. Taking the time to check references and vet tenants can avert loss, damage and give landlords peace of mind.”
For further advice contact Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 and Legal 4 Landlords on 0844 567 4001 for advice on tenant referencing.