If you rent to a cannabis growing tenant you may think at first you have found the perfect tenant. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking because they have money you have found your Eldorado: these people may have excellent references, drive expensive cars and pay all the rent up front, usually in cash, but there’s a massive shock awaiting the unsuspecting and gullible landlord.
Most marijuana and cannabis growers don’t do it in their own properties for fear of being caught: by using rental properties they keep themselves at arm’s length from the operation, as well as avoiding damaging their own properties.
Creating the right conditions for cultivating their plants indoors and out of sight involves ripping the guts out of the average rental property. Indoor cultivation causes devastating damage to the property.
All manner of drug cultivation, methamphetamine laboratories and marijuana crop growing operations are increasing in number.
Tell-tale signs are constantly closed curtains and plant potting material around the property, if there’s a growing operation in progress. Large amounts of paint thinners, drain cleaners and fuel drums point to a meth lab.
Many insurers are now getting wise to this trend and are informing landlords that they will not pay out for this kind of risk in future. This will be the case even though the landlord is completely unaware that there property is being used as an illegal drug producing operation.
You may be lucky and find that your insurers or some others will still honour claims, but in any event the incidence of this is adding to the cost of landlord’s insurance by increasing annual premiums. If in doubt, check with your broker or insurance company to see if they cover you for this risk.
The difficulty landlords have is rights of access to monitor their tenants. You have no automatic right of access to your rental when it is tenanted so in the short term it’s difficult to determine exactly what’s occurring.
However, there signs will be there for the averagely diligent landlord or agent, simply by observing from the outside and making equities with neighbours about comings and goings to the property.
How to Avoid the Druggies:
• Be very wary of tenants who offer to pay in cash.
• Similarly if they offer to pay long periods up-front and/or offer above market rents.
• Observe them on viewings – do they ask the sort of questions a tenant would be concerned about if they intend to live there.
• Do they drive expensive cars and wear expensive clothing etc., all out of keeping with the type on rental on offer.
• Does their back-story stack-up – employment, moving location, skills etc.
• Always insist on a comprehensive application form fully completed.
• Ask to see recent utility bills and bank statements.
• Check identities thoroughly – get copies of photo driver’s licences or passports.
• Do full credit checks and references – check with employers (accountants of self-employed) and previous landlords or agents.
• Do they operate with mobile phones only – no home number?
• Are they particularly interested in power supplies and rear access etc?
Be ultra-observant, be aware of the problem and you are more likely to avoid being taken in by this ever growing threat to your livelihood.
Article supplied by: www.TenantVERIFY.co.uk
TenantVERIFY® provides high quality on-line credit searches, referencing, and other services for landlords, property managers and letting agents.
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©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these general guidelines which apply primarily to England and Wales. They are not definitive statements of the law. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of your case and all documents to hand.