What do these signs tell you?

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    What do these signs tell you?

    Okay so I have read several posts that are similar to mine but I am starting a new topic in the hope that the answer is different.
    I let my property out nearly 3 months ago to a family of 4 who according to the tenant are 3 adults and a child. Atleast this is what the agent and reference checks tell.
    I had an issue with the rent being late the first time by 5 days and I didn't make a big deal of it. After the first month I requested for property inspection to which the tenant didn't provide consent however he did for the garage (as I had to get some old stuff). When we arrive at the property I see there were cameras fitted both at the front and the back doors. The agent didn't know this, meaning the tenant did not obtain permission. During that visit, there were a couple of things that didn't make sense. 1. the Utility room appeared to have not been used at all. 2. peeking into the house through the french door to the garden I noticed there were still unpacked boxed in the living room. In other words it didn't look like someone had actually settled into the property. Although this was a month into the tenancy I didn't think much of it and attributed it to pre-Christmas time and that they were elsewhere.
    A month later I wanted access to mail so she requested the agent to contact the tenant and same thing again - no consent to inspect/enter the property. I went around to the property and noticed that was very little, if any, activity in the house. All the curtains were pulled over, there was a light bulb that had random on/off sequence and there was some (very minimal) bin movement. I spoke to the neighbours and they said they saw some activity around the time the new tenancy began but otherwise some of them actually though we sold the property. Might I mention that the cameras responded to motion and appeared to be zooming into wherever there was some noise/conversation. I asked the agent to mail in a written request for inspection which we did. In the meantime I got a little adventurous and decided to check things out as much as possible from the neighbour's house and backyard. Here is when I find a few things that need some weighing in by this forum.
    1. Firstly it appeared that there was no one home.
    2. There was no light coming through the window of the downstairs bathroom. This could be because the bathroom door was closed.
    3. every window, small or large on the side of the building was closed and covered with a white sheet or white curtain
    4. the loft windows were the same, however there was a small window of the loft bathroom that was open and the curtain on it was bulging out somewhat i.e. as if there is air blowing on the inside
    5. the windows of the bathroom in the first floor looked out to the garden were covered from the inside with a firm white paper/sheet
    6. at some times of the day and in the night it appeared as if there was very bright light in the kitchen and in the loft. this only appear through the windows. and not through the frenchdoor to the kitchen which indicates that the french doors have been blacked out.
    7. there was steam coming out of the boiler flue, not too heavy but considering there wasn't anyone at home (or so it seemed) it appeared more than usual. Is that normal?

    Needless to say the internet immediately attributes all of this to a possible cannabis farm. I am not immune to that suspicion but I am hoping someone here will tell me it's unusual but not suspicious.


    #2
    Report your suspicions to the police.
    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


      #3
      Agree with the above, but be aware that this alone would not given them reason for the obtaining of a warrant, it would take more intelligence and other infortmation to be able to obtain a warrant and go round with the ' big red key', keep in close contact with the neighbours and ensure they have your mobile number, they can be your eyes and ears (if they are willing), it well could be what you fear but generally those setting up a farm put a great deal of time and money into it and all that would be worthless if they stopped paying you rent ,,,,,,, so if the rent keeps coming in then it COULD be a cannabis grow more than if they stopped paying.

      Comment


        #4
        I'd be smelling gas outside, so have to let myself in. Once you confirm your suspicions, call the bizzies.

        Comment


          #5
          Give min 24 hrs Notice of intended inspection in writing and say you will let yourself in if no one at home.

          Comment


            #6
            Wouldn't advise entering without permission as it's an offence under the Consumer Rights Act, and the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 amongst others unless it's an emergency that you can prove to be so. Just giving written 24 hours Notice does not entitle you to enter if you have not received a response from the tenant.

            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by PaulF View Post
              Just giving written 24 hours Notice does not entitle you to enter if you have not received a response from the tenant
              Yes it does.

              It's allowed under s11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which adds an implied term to (pretty much) any lease of less than seven years with a repair obligation.

              Neither of the pieces of legislation you mention make entry with notice an offence.

              I the tenant does decline entry, that's their prerogative and the two rights (the tenant's to exclude the landlord and the landlord's right to enter) simply cancel each other's out.
              But if they don't decline entry, the landlord's right to enter isn't being challenged.
              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


                #8
                FTA: What's the betting the locks have been changed?

                Comment


                  #9
                  thanks for all your responses. JK0 - yes that's a possibility which in my mind only makes the suspicion stronger. Still doesn't help as I can't get access but atleast I can start considering court order/police complaint etc.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    Report your suspicions to the police.
                    It's best way. And the safest.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hello
                      I have previously posted here (https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...signs-tell-you) about some signs we noticed at our rented property and it seems some of you recommended that I report suspicions to the police.
                      About 5 days ago we went with the agent to drop a note saying we would like to inspect the property (24 hr notice). We didn't hear back.
                      The situation got more complicated today. A very important and urgent letter addressed to us has been delivered at the property and because we had previously given notice of inspection, I tried opening the door only to find that the locks were changed. I did expect this may be the case and in hindsight I should have attempted access even if it were to find that the locks were changed.
                      My agent is currently on the case and is trying to get someone to open the door so we can access the mail. Whether this also means we can inspect the property I am yet to find out. The agent also said that if the tenant doesn't allow he will take responsibility of a break in and get access the mail, which is the priority. Ofcourse this still leaves the question of the possibility of illegal activity.

                      My questions for this forum:
                      1. Considering the keys were changed without permission, and that cameras were installed without permission does this give me the right to serve a notice to terminate the tenancy?
                      2. I didn't report to the police previously because the agent advised that he is continuing to try and get us access for inspection. In fact he advised last night that the tenant agreed for an inspection in about 10 days. Ofcourse the first thought is that they may have asked for that window to clear up whatever illegal stuff they are trying to conceal.

                      thanks

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Moderator2 I think this needs merging with the previous thread.

                        I don't believe that you have any legal right to break in just because you failed to to provide a correct service address to the sender of the mail.

                        Also, for the situation you describe, I think there is a significant risk of your being subject to serious, or fatal, violence if you do so, so please leave this to the professionals.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Perhaps that's after the first crop has been harvested. I agree with the advice to inform the police, it all towards some illegal activity.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            1. Yes, if those things are forbidden in your agreement with the tenant. Section 8 (but they are not automatic grounds for possession.
                            2. Isn't a question.

                            You have no right to break in (nor has the agent).
                            That would be a crime.

                            You shouldn't ever have your own mail delivered to a rental property (the tenant has every right to send it back).
                            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


                              #15
                              thanks all. I went ahead and reported it to the police. they did ask if we tried to forcefully enter. I explained that we did attempt using the keys we had but gave up when that didn't work. I don't know if that amounts to forceful entry but just gave them the full honest truth so lets see what happens

                              Comment

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