When you rent out a property you hope that your tenants will be considerate and respectful and leave the dwelling in the same condition it was when they arrived. You also expect your tenants to abide by the law. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Make sure you protect your property in the best way possible by staying aware of the warning signs of unlawful activity.
Problems such as breach of the peace infractions and illegal sub-letting are some typical problems faced by landlords, but another important risk that landlords should be aware of is that of illegal drug growth. The relative ease with which the equipment and materials necessary for growing cannabis has made it a possibility for the average person to set up shop.
Many also choose to take the risk of growing cannabis in a property that is not their own and this is where the landlord can find themselves in trouble and out of pocket. If you suspect that some of your tenants could be growing the drug within your property, there are a number of tell-tale signs to help you determine whether they are likely to be engaging in such illegal behaviour.
Cannabis needs a lot of heat and light to grow, this means that electricity consumption in the property is sure to go through the roof and sometimes people try to tamper with wiring – for example by hooking directly into power lines – as a way to avoid detection. By the same token, if there are lights in the property that never seen to go out, the cultivation of a cannabis plant could be the reason. This also sometimes leads growers to try and black out or conceal their windows, so count this as another warning sign and something worth investigating.
The rubbish thrown out of such properties can also be a good indicator, especially if, for example, it’s a high-rise property yet the tenants are discarding large qualities of plant waste. An important thing to look out for when in the property is a high level of humidity as the plants need high moisture levels to grow, keep an eye open for signs such as peeling paint or mildewed wallboard or carpet as these could be vital clues
If you have suspicions about your property, you should also watch out for markings on the walls or evidence that a utility room, cupboard or loft space is receiving an unusual level of traffic. Ensure that such damage to your property is covered by making sure you have comprehensive and if you suspect your tenants of anything illegal, let the police know immediately.