Landlords are often wary when it comes to choosing tenants for their properties, as they want to make sure that the tenants not only pay their rent on time but also look after the property. Landlord insurance can often help when tenants damage properties or fail to pay their rent on time, however police in South Shields, Tyne and Wear and now warning that landlords could end up having to pay out large amounts of money if their tenants are found to be drug farmers.
Last Thursday local police found a drug farm in a private rented property in Sunderland Round, Harton Roads, South Shields, which is now the eighth drug farm found in the borough from December. Police have said that all eight drug farms they found were in privately rented properties, and have therefore urged landlords to be more cautious when it comes to their tenants. Sergeant Shaun Connolly from the East Shields Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “People renting out properties need to be more vigilant.”
“What tends to happen is that when landlords get their rent on time every month, they don’t check on the house. We are also finding that in the homes where drug farms have been found, the rent has been paid up front. If that happens, landlords should be suspicious. It might be good for them in the short term but if the property is being used as a drug farm, there will be greater costs in the long run.” The police have said that on average a drug farmer can cost landlords between £2,500 and £3,000 in damages due to the fact that they can tear holes into walls to set up ventilation systems, and damage flooring and staircases in order to fit complicated electrical wiring.
They have advised that landlords should make regular checks on their properties, and are offering police assistance if the landlord thinks their tenants are up to something suspicious. Sergeant Connolly said: “In most cases the landlords have no idea what is going on in their property, and doesn’t find out until the lease comes to an end or we find a farm inside. What I’m proposing to do is set up a scheme whereby regular checks on the home are part of any rental contract. And in the cases where landlords are concerned something illegal is going on in their properties, an officer will accompany them on the visit.”