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Criminal tenants weeded out

A landlord in the South West got something of a surprise when he paid a surprise visit to one of his tenants last week.

The landlord, from Bridgewater in Somerset decided to do what landlords are advised to do at all times. He paid an unannounced call on one of his tenants to check if everything was all right with the property. To his amazement the flat had been turned into a greenhouse with row upon row of plants.

The property was being used to grow cannabis plants using hydroponics, a type of agriculture where plants can be grown without soil and where forced growth is accelerated by artificial light and nutrients. It is becoming a growing problem for landlords, who are well advised to ensure they have landlord insurance which will certainly help when their property is damaged from misuse by a tenant.

The police seized almost 500 plants as well as a number of bags containing plant leaves, which they suspect are cannabis leaves. The tenant fled when he realised his scheme had been uncovered and police are still searching for him. They strongly suspect the crime may be linked to a similar case in Taunton where a rented property was used for exactly the same scheme.

The tenant in that case was apprehended and is now awaiting deportation back to South East Asia.

The situation with drugs is becoming a nightmare for many landlords who in most cases will have no idea that their tenants are breaking the law. Surprise visits and regular interaction with people housed in their properties will help residential landlords build up a good relationship with good tenants and possibly expose shady goings on with those that are not so good.

By Simon Dack

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