How to weed out the cannabis crooks
Cannabis farms in rented homes are on the increase and landlords should be aware that this kind of criminal activity could be going on in their property.
A week of action by the police in November highlighted these tell-tale signs:
- A sudden jump/fall in electricity bills
- Strong, sickly smells
- Excessive security in and around a property
- High levels of heat and condensation resulting in mildew or peeling paint
- Lots of visitors - often at unsociable hours
- Lack of frost or snow on roofs in times of cold weather
- Bright lights left constantly on
- Low level noise from a ventilation system
- Cannabis growing paraphernalia such as lighting and ventilation equipment.
- Windows constantly covered or blacked out
- Lots of cables, or electrical wiring being tampered with
- Bin bags full of stalks and roots of cannabis plants, discarded when the plants are harvested.
The campaign was carried out in and around Northamptonshire earlier this month but the police were quick to point out that the problem of cannabis grows is widespread across the whole of the UK. The people responsible can cause thousands of pounds worth of property damage and the bypassing of the electrical supply which is commonly carried out, can cause a very real danger to the public.
Growing cannabis is a high-value activity and the people involved in it are potentially dangerous. So never approach a tenant yourself if you think they are carrying out an illegal activity in your rented home. As a landlord you need to be alert to the problem and contact the police immediately if you spot anything that makes you suspicious.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
Keep up to date
(Weekly, fortnightly or monthly)