Unfortunately, criminal gangs can cause substantial damage to properties and take steps to avoid detection. The police have witnessed electrics being bypassed with irrigation systems and heaters installed to properties. In order to avoid detection, curtains and sheeting are used to cover walls and windows to reduce heat leakage detectable by police helicopters and fake lights are installed between the sheeting and windows to give a normal appearance to the property.
A landlord will clearly be unlucky to encounter such a problem but it is worth mentioning that landlords should always check the identity of prospective tenants and take references. Further, landlords should make regular inspections of their properties (if the tenancy agreement provides for this) as this is helpful to assess the state of the property in any event.
The landlord should also be wary of tenants who offer large cash payments upfront, no matter how tempting it may be to accept it. If the Police break the door down, the landlord will have to pay for it. Substantial damage to the property can be caused as a consequence of a cannabis farm which may not be covered under an existing insurance policy. The landlord would then have to burden the clean-up costs.
The number of cannabis plants seized by West Yorkshire Police soared by more than 70 per cent last year, according to new figures. West Yorkshire bucked the downward national trend in 2014 for the number of seizures of illegal plants, with 15,327 taken by the county’s police compared with 8,960 in 2013. The 71 per cent increase is the fourth biggest among the nation’s police force areas last year, according to new statistics from landlord insurer Direct Line.