A landlord from Plymouth has been sent to jail after police found cannabis crops worth £75,000 in two rooms of one of his rental properties.
The landlord protested that he had no idea that cannabis was being cultivated within his property, despite officers finding 64 mature plants, some of which reached 4ft in height.
On sentencing, the judge decided on imposing a heavy sanction, sentencing the landlord to three years in prison.
With this in mind, you as a current or potential buy-to-let landlord should make sure you are attentive to the threat of cannabis in your property…or risk your investment going to pot!
Cases such as the one in Plymouth are rare but are often extremely costly. So how can you prevent the cultivation of cannabis in your property?
Be the Inspector-Illegal substances such as cannabis take time to grow. Like anything from the botanical family, it takes time to increase in size and in value. By conducting regular inspections of your property, you are much more likely to find and sort problems before they get out of hand.
Source the supply-Cannabis farmers are reliant on customers in order to keep their cultivation worthwhile. It is important to look out for tenants who always seem to have friends over, or are out of the house at unusual periods. Look at the local area-if there is a drug problem then by extra vigilant.
Inform the authorities-As a buy-to-let landlord, you must remember it is your responsibility to report any illegal activity you encounter in your property. Failure to do this could lead you to face criminal charges. A good landlord insurance policy is vital in sorting out legalities and recovering damages should you find a cannabis cultivator residing in your investment property. If you have any concerns, remember to inform the authorities immediately.
Put up the screen-The problem of cannabis farming can be quashed by sufficiently referencing and screening your potential tenants. It is important to protect both yourself and your investment.