Cannabis farming numbers 'getting higher'

It has been found that landlords increasingly have to deal with their properties being used for cannabis farming.

There were 5,497 seizures of cannabis plants by police during 2006-07, according to Home Office figures, representing an increase of 34 per cent since 2005.

Norwich Union has revealed that in 2007, it settled around 60 residential claims totalling over £1 million related to the growing problem.

According to the insurer, the damage caused by tenants range from holes in the walls to water damage, while some rental properties have even caught fire.

Mike Colmans, underwriting manager for Norwich Union, says: "With cannabis farming clearly on the rise, there is an increased risk for landlords and their properties."

Landlords who are suspicious may seek advice on how to deal with difficult renters and Lawpack suggests it is important to pre-empt such disasters by carefully vetting tenants before they are allowed to sign tenancy agreements.

Mr Colmans adds that landlords should be aware that if their property is damaged by tenants using it for cannabis production they may not be covered if they have not taken "reasonable precautions" to prevent the damage.

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Published on: February 16, 2009

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