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Landlords Warned About Increase in Cannabis Factories
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has warned that cannabis factories in privately rented homes are on the increase. Police forces up and down the country have reported more and more are being set up in perfectly ordinary rental properties. The problem is occurring both in the inner city areas as well as suburbia. Over the last two years, the numbers of cannabis farms in Dorset have risen by an incredible 550%, with police discovering a total of 93 farms during the previous twelve months. In comparison, the figures for 2009/10 were just 15. According to data released by the Association of Chief Police Officers last month, there are 20 new factories being discovered every day in England and Wales.
This is a real problem for those unlucky landlords whose properties have been used in this way, as the internal damage can be considerable. These ‘gardening’ activities require substantial amounts of heat and light, and the perpetrators have a nasty habit of stealing electricity, frequently leaving the hapless landlord responsible for a hefty bill. In addition, the production of cannabis represents a fire hazard.
ARLA has pointed out the need to be extra vigilant with tenant references, and it can pay to use a letting agent to show potential tenants around a property and to carry out the vetting process. This is because letting agents in Nottingham tend to have a good idea as to who will make a good tenant, and have the experience to carry out all the necessary checks with the utmost thoroughness. It can also pay the landlord to make sure they are on friendly terms with the neighbours, as they will probably be the first to spot any signs of illegal activity, and can help nip any illegal cannabis farm in the bud.