Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the UK with much of it having been grown here, increasingly in smaller residential properties as well on larger scales in industrial and commercial premises including vacant properties. 

Cultivation is a risk all landlords should be aware of, as it can often lead to significant property damage and loss of rental income.

 Property damage can occur in a number of ways :-

 As well as the cost of repairing any structural damage, landlords can also be faced with large bills for cleaning their properties and removing the equipment used to grow cannabis. This can of course have a negative impact on rental income during the clean-up process. 

There could also be personal implications for any landlord deemed to have turned a blind eye to cannabis being grown on their property. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, any landlord or letting agent who allows their rental property to be used for production or supply of controlled drugs could face up to 14 years in prison.

 It is extremely important, therefore, that landlords can spot the warning signs of cannabis cultivation. 

Indicators of possible cannabis growth could include:- 

 If a property is vacant, it is important to ensure it is properly secured and that regular checks are made. It can take up to 15 weeks to harvest a cannabis crop – so regular checks should pick up the warning signs of cannabis cultivation.

 Regular inspections are equally important if a property is being leased. It is also important to carry out robust background checks on prospective tenants, and requests to pay rent or deposits in cash should be refused.

 Any landlord who suspects their property is being used for cannabis cultivation should not approach the tenants directly, but should instead contact their local police force or crimestoppers

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