Cases of tenants farming and selling cannabis from rental property are rare, but when they do come around they are always costly and very public cases. It only takes one big value story like the one which broke this week involving the Swindon landlord who found £160,000 worth of cannabis growing in his property and cannabis farming is back on the minds of landlords. How can you stop the risks and prevent a big story happening to you?
- Illegal substances including cannabis take considerable time to culture and grow and, like anything botanical, won’t suddenly be worth hundreds of thousands overnight. If you’re someone who commits to regular inspections you’ll probably put your tenants off in the first place, but do ask serious questions of anyone who appears to have a disproportional interest in gardening.
Supply and demand
- Just like anything else, cannabis farmers rely on customers to keep their businesses going. Good signs to watch for are tenants who are seemingly always entertaining friends or often out of the house at unusual times for short periods. A good bit of knowledge about the local area can come in handy, too. If you are aware of a drug problem in your area it’s important to be extra vigilant.
- As a landlord you do have responsibilities to ensure your tenants are not undertaking illegal activity. You also have a responsibility to help out the local authorities with any investigations they wish to undertake. Aside from this, a good landlord insurance policy can help you to sort out the legal side of the investigations and potentially recover any damages if you are unlucky enough to be hosting farmers
- Cannabis farming in rental properties can be stamped out easily and simply and starts with the moment you start screening potential tenants. Though it’s not something you’ll want to spend days worrying over, it’s important to protect your reputation and your livelihood so if you are concerned get in touch with the police sooner rather than later.