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Buy2Let Investors Beware - Is your property a cannabis factory?

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I am not being facetious. Working in the insurance industry I have seen two claims recently (could be coincidence but does not seem so).

Clients have let their properties, only to find that the so called tenants have messed with the wiring, blocked out the windows, knocked holes through walls, place stinks like...a cannabis factory. Unpaid mega electric bill. Costs a lot to fix + Insurers are unlikely to cover all or at best a small part of damage caused.

A quick look at google shows a fair number of newspaper reports

This one was similar to our examples

Best way to protect yourself as a landlord is to carry out regular inspections

The culprits may or may not decide to live in the premises themselves while this is going on.

Police advice

My main point is that I think there is a lot of this going on....be careful

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How many do you actually know????


It all comes down to how you manage the letting of your RE units and how good that is.



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I heard of this happening to abandoned homes in the US


Help is on the way !

California wants to legalise Canabis - so they can tax it !

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Rental properties used in the manufacture of methamphetamine (‘P’)



Things for landlords and tenants to check before renting a property

Landlords should check for any signs the property been used as a P lab.


The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has identified some warning signs that a lab is operating*. These include:


* Unusual chemical smells that are not normally present in the area

* Numerous chemical containers (labelled solvent, acid, flammable) stored or stock piled

* Stained glass equipment and cookware

* Plastic or glass containers fitted with glass or rubber tubing

* Numerous cold tablet packages lying around or in the rubbish

* Portable gas tanks or other cylinders not normally seen or used in the area

* Chemical stains around household kitchen sink, laundry, toilet or stormwater drains

* Yellow/brown staining of interior floor wall ceiling and appliance surfaces

* Any unusual activity particularly at night


If there are indications the property has been used as a lab, the landlord should have the premises decontaminated using reputable commercial cleaners for the specific purpose of ridding the property of any contamination arising from the manufacture of P.


"P" for Problem

The growth in the drug "P" is causing problems

for landlords which two property investors recently

discovered after police found clandestine P-labs

on their properties. The owners are now facing

significant decontamination costs, and quite

possibly the removal of the houses altogether.

Last year, over 200 P-labs were found by police,

many in rental property, and that number is

growing. The chemical process for making the

Class-A drug methamphetamine involves toxic

chemicals and creates potentially-explosive fumes.

This has significant consequences for landlords

who bear the expense of having the houses tested

and decontaminated by commercial cleaners, and

the expense of having a vacant property until local

authorities declare it fit for habitation. If a landlord

does not decontaminate the property they risk a

damages claim in the Tenancy Tribunal from

subsequent tenants

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Bearing in mind these landlords/agents are supposed to carry out regular checks on the property (to update such things as gas safety reports etc) so long as they're adhereing to their obligations such problems should be discovered fairly quickly.


Locally to me I would hazard a guess that at least one 'factory' is discovered per week (judging by the local rag) and more often than not is also housing a non-English speaking person who's being paid a small amount of cash to keep an eye over the crop and getting free accomodation (this may be just negative press coverage and cannot vouch for it's validity).


Personally I don't have a problem with people producing canabis and, from what I've read, really cannot understand the lack of investigation into the economic viability of producing commercial hemp on a scale similar to cotton, but that's a different argument altogether.




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I have no sympathy for any BTL landlords who manage their own properties and don't do regular inspections. Neither have I for landlords who don't do their due diligence with regard to employing a letting agent, it's not difficult to find out if they are doing their inspections. It's just managing risk, a necessary for any type of investment.

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Bearing in mind these landlords/agents are supposed to carry out regular checks on the property (to update such things as gas safety reports etc) so long as they're adhereing to their obligations such problems should be discovered fairly quickly.


Hmm not so sure..........our house gets an annual inspection from the lettings agency and an annual check for the Gas Safety report. So two visits per year.




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  • 2 months later...

Spotted this in todays paper, very sad




Children as young as ten are being smuggled to Britain to toil in dangerous cannabis hothouses, police have revealed.


Under-age workers from Vietnam and China are among those working as gardeners in illegal drug factories, often producing highly potent skunk. Gangs are waiving the £15,000 fees they would normally charge to bring people to Britain because the child labour can help generate multi-million-pound profits.


An estimated six per cent of all children trafficked here – often in locked containers – are forced to work in the factories.


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Metro are having a thing on the subject this week - shows how widespread this is


be careful if you suspect a problem!




Booby traps, electrified door handles, wood studded with nails and reinforced doors – these are just some of the lengths gangs will go to protect their lucrative cannabis factories.

Efficient grow-houses, which yield up to £1.1million a year, are often death-traps, as organised criminals tap into the mains electricity to escape bills – leaving the whole house live.


'Firefighters searching in complete darkness with their hands out in front of them are put in great danger,' said John Fitzjohn from Mid and West Wales Fire Service.


Gangs often knock through walls and ceilings – regardless of the danger of a building collapsing.


'There were two semi-detached homes we found, that the gang had simply knocked right through in the middle,' added Merseyside Police's Det Insp Bill Tupples.


The growing problems of super-strength 'skunk' – which now accounts for 60 per cent of cannabis smoked in Britain – has given rise to a ruthless industry controlled by organised criminals.


With an efficient set-up, the gangs – often from south-east Asia – take extreme measures to keep out intruders and authorities.


They also tap into the circuits, stealing about £30,000 of electricity a year and escaping detection for their excessive consumption.


This week, Metro is running stories on the impact of Britain's booming cannabis industry to mark Crimestoppers' Tackling Drugs Week – including the plight of children trafficked to grow the drug.


If you have any information, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to the Crimestoppers website.






stoned dog article !

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  • 1 year later...

VERY BAD THINGS ! A good article worth reading in full




It seemed like the perfect crime. A south London street gang arranged to buy £30,000 worth of high-quality skunk cannabis from a team of Vietnamese growers that operated several successful “farms” across London and the south-east. The deal was set to take place in a car park close to McDonald's in Sutton, but instead of money, the gang produced hand guns and stole the drugs, safe in the knowledge that their victims, Khach Nguyen and Phac Tran, could never report the incident to the police.


When Nguyen and Tran returned to their Hackney base and told their boss, Hoc Kim Khoa, what had happened, he accused them of faking the robbery and demanded they repay the money. When they refused, the pair were kidnapped and taken to a remote farm in Surrey where, over the space of several hours, Nguyen was slowly beaten to death.



“We're now finding there are more white British people involved — about 60 per cent of the people we identify currently fall into that category. It's a significant change. The nature of the criminality and the ways the criminals organise is changing.”


With landlords wary of Vietnamese clients inquiring about large, isolated properties, many gangs welcome the involvement of British criminals in order to help them obtain suitable premises. Cases involving multiple nationalities are already appearing in courts and police expect this trend to continue. It also seems certain that the violence associated with the trade is set to grow.

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  • 1 year later...

update a "growing" problem !




A recent report by the Association of Chief Police Officers found that the number of farms being unearthed has more than doubled in four years.


The survey found more than 21 cannabis factories were uncovered daily in Britain last year with 7,865 found in total.


And the loss adjuster has urged brokers to ensure the covers held by their property owner clients do not exclude illegal activity.


Simon Jones, head of Questgates property owners division described the "menace" of cannabis farms as an increasing problem, especially in private rented houses.


"We've been involved in a growing number of claims relating to malicious damage by so-called tenants that turn out to be related to cannabis farming," he said.


"In particular we have seen a number of claims where fires have been caused by lighting used for such purposes overheating or developing electrical faults or where properties have suffered water damage from hydroponic installations."


Mr Jones continued that Questgates has noted a rise in insurers requesting landlords to maintain a log of property inspections and also seen some exclude liability for claims resulting from drug-related damage.


He added: "It is therefore essential that brokers both review and understand policy cover in this respect to ensure that their property owner clients understand the potential risk and take the necessary steps to mitigate them.


"Failure to do so could result in declinature of liability by an insurer if a problem does occur."



Read more: http://www.insurance...e#ixzz20nqrjuW7

Insurance Age - Serving the broker community.


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