Letting Agent Rented Out to Cannabis Grower

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    Letting Agent Rented Out to Cannabis Grower

    H
    i all, I hope many landlords on this forum have some experience dealing with this.

    I have a spare house that is vacant most of the time except for some odd family summer vacation.
    The economy is looking grim at the moment so I decided to rent it out to make some extra cash. But being quite far away from the house, I reckon it would be easier to have a letting agent manage it for us, 12% commission seems reasonable enough.


    The agent did their duty diligently on paper, they used a third party referencing agent to get previous landlord reference and employment reference of the potential tenant. Tenant is a Portuguese young man with monthly income reaching near £2,800 and has a good compliment from previous landlord, or at least that's what I got from the reference report the agent gave me.


    9 months in to the tenancy, I never received any problem with late rent payment or complaint from anyone. The tenant seems ideal! Until 3 days ago, police called me to say that the house was raided for cannabis cultivation and they asked me some questions which makes me think the police suspects I am a co-operator.
    Now the house is in quite a mess, several holes in the ceilings, plant soil all over the place so probably I need to get the carpet completely replaced. I don't even know how much it will cost to plug those ceiling holes
    (Please let me know if you have any idea of the cost for this).


    Now I want to know, can I sue the letting agent or the referencing agent to allow someone like this to rent my house? That tenant doesn't even exist!! despite the passport photocopy, proof of address and employment reference, no one can find this person. If this person doesn't exist and the agent still showed me a report with compliment from previous landlord and a good income from employment reference, can I sue them on the ground that they did not verify the information thoroughly?


    Will the police chase the suspect down? The rent was paid via bank transfer so we probably have the tenants' bank details as a lead
    Do I have enough ground to sue the agents for compensation for damages?


    If you have had similar issues in your landlord journey, please could you share.
    Thank you all very much for your time.

    #2
    Originally posted by robert boyd View Post
    (Please let me know if you have any idea of the cost for this).
    If ceiling is not artexed, then holes in ceiling are easily repaired by a plasterer.

    If ceiling is artexed, then probably best to get entire ceiling plastered (over the artex).

    Comment


      #3
      I know someone who rented to Cannabis farm.

      First and foremost, get your electrical wiring checked out by a certified electrician. Farmers often short out the electrical metering because of the amount of electricity required, leaving many fire hazards.

      Chances of getting money from agent will be slim unless they can be proven to be grossly incompetent, you just have to eat the costs I am afraid.

      Police wont care about your involvement, I have not heard landlord involved ever as they have the most to lose and least to gain. Chances are you will never hear from them again. The money recovered from the bank if any will be treated as proceeds of crime.

      Probably not what you wanted to hear, but in future try interview a tenant personally, and highlight clause in AST that you will inspect the property after first 3 months and every year after, that usually removes some of the risks.

      Comment


        #4
        Agent is effectively you, Was no property inspection carried out at 3-4 months/?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mariner View Post
          Agent is effectively you, Was no property inspection carried out at 3-4 months/?
          I did twice, after the first and and a second month but it was greatly maintained, the tenant was respectful and nice, which makes me believe that he sub-let it to someone who grows without his knowledge, and police called me about the raid just before I arrange the third visit/inspection.

          Comment


            #6
            The only claim against the agent would be that they didn't provide the agreed service to an acceptable level and that you suffered a loss as a consequence.
            Or that they breached their duty of care.

            Nothing in what you have written makes me think that they did either of those things.
            You are the victim of a crime, which is unfortunate, but it's not the agent's fault.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Title of thread should say, "As a responsible landlord, I instructed agent to rent out to a cannabis grower." The agent did exactly what they said they'd do... "diligently" both on paper and in practice I'd say. You can't sue the agent for doing exactly what they are supposed to do. After all, you and the agent were party to the same referencing information. You could have asked for more diligence e.g. last three bank statements or landlord before last landlord's opinion, but TBH, this sounds like a professional job and they just would have faked those docs too.

              Arguably, you had more insight than the agent having visited the property. It's just one of those things.

              Did you check every room including roof space on inspections?

              Comment


                #8
                If the agent handed over keys to a person who looked nothing like the passport photo you might possibly have a claim. However they sound too professional not to have faked that.

                Comment

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