My buy to let property is being used as a cannabis growing factory

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    My buy to let property is being used as a cannabis growing factory

    Hi 👋
    I found out yesterday when I went for inspection and for surveyor valuation that my buy to let property is being used as a cannabis growing factory

    I called the police when I noticed changes and had a locksmith open door as locks changed and letter hole seal and Neighbours confirmed there is nobody living in property and only see on very real occasion a old bearded guy and young guy coming in and out we all became suspicious

    On two occasions I gave over weeks notice to tenant of my inspection notice which he grant but keeps me waiting outside with no access to property and locks changed

    The police confirmed that there was about 300 cannabis, the property has been structurally altered, the electrical main has been bypass, kitchen drawers and shelves removed and turned to bedroom, wall knocked through and lots of equipment in the house they informed me the forensic team are going to start working and they will start clearing away the cannabis and equipment from property today

    How do I progress from now what are my options?

    Thanks in advance for your advice

    #2
    You need to end the tenancy first. I suggest you serve a common law Notice to Quit if you're confident the tenant isn't living there. This should end the tenancy on expiry.

    While that's happening, you had better speak to your insurer. You should check first whether there are any specific conditions, (such as inspections) and whether you have complied with them.

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      #3
      Also get yourself an electrician and builder at the ready, i have been involved in a number of these and the damage is often horrific, one notable property was so bad it made the house structurally unsafe !!

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        #4
        It's unlikely your insurance will cover this, hopefully you carried out the checks on the T's, provide the police with the details of the person/people who rented it out hopefully they may track them down if they haven't left the country. Usually they setup these cannabis farms for a period of 3 months then move on. They usually want and pay the full rent for the year upfront (this is usually a sign), plus they use other people to get the tenancy who never actually live there.

        I doubt they will come back if they have seen the police, start the refurb work if you can get the supplies.

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          #5
          Hi 👋 all
          Thanks for all the valuable information and advice
          The police have given me back access to my property and I have started refurbishment process, cleaning, clearing and restoring back to its former glory!

          The damage was horrendous, the furnished house was dismantled and everything torn apart but I am pushing ahead to complete the work with Families, friends, Builders and electrician, the cost is mounting but we determined to finish the work.

          The police has not been helpful they simply sent a note after waiting for days to get information to tell me that they has collected all their Exhitbit and Forentic and I can go and clean up my property!

          I am also going to looking to give the tenant quit notice as he has disappeared and not paid the last rent due so I suppose it is a question of abandonment or not sure if to incur further cost of legal fees or just send a simple letter to terminate the tenancy agreement because he has not actually lived in the property it was rented for their Cannabis factory

          Please I still need advice on the best way to get rid of the tenancy, not sure if they have rights or will show up afterward

          Many thanks again

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            #6
            What was the length of the Tenancy you gave the T, and how many months left until the fixed term is due to end? It would be safe that the T isn't coming back, if they did they would be going to jail.

            If you really want to do it:

            1. Put abandonment notice on the property.

            2. Go through the process of trying to locate the T, and serving a notice to quit

            3. Go through the process of getting possession of the property.

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              #7
              Hi 👋
              Thanks for your response
              It was 12 months tenancy agreement and he has been there since April 2021, that’s 5 months but from speaking to Neighbours nobody lived there only came and went a few times

              Also police said possibly had a minder for the factory who has disappeared when the police arrived

              All the documents provided at start of tenancy seems to be Fake so Myself and police may be impossible to locate the Tenant

              What is the process of getting possession of the property without incurring further legal bills because right now the bills are piling up and will like to minimise further costs

              Many thanks for your cooperation




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                #8
                If the information that was provided was fake (you should review your processes on vetting a T as well as referencing), then just do nothing and carry on, someone who has fake id etc will not be able to retake a property, so don't worry about it and get the property back on the market or sell it.

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                  #9
                  I seriously doubt anyone will care if you just take possession and change the locks etc. at this stage.

                  To take legal action against you, they would have to make themselves known/available and run the risk of being arrested for the grow charge. And if the documents provided are fake, then they would have to establish their real identity etc.
                  I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                  I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

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                    #10
                    yes these factories are becoming very common , i have severe concerns about a house now [ not mine] where lights stay on at night with no curtains for a while each night . and many other suspicious signs . just waiting to see how the police will react . t

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                      #11
                      the worst thing is that these factories do so much damage and insurers do not cover the damage for illegal activities as far as i know , i know of 3 rented houses wrecked by cannabis in past few months

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                        #12
                        Sometimes the electric co s are more useful than the police.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by philg View Post
                          and many other suspicious signs . just waiting to see how the police will react . t
                          These are often found by the Fire Brigade due to fires started by their equipment or the Police helicopter detecting an abnormally large heat source. I understand that the costs of restoring property is usually around the £5,000 mark.

                          The house can often be booby trapped so if you have suspicion of a cannabis farm it is best to be very careful when entering and probably best left to the experts.



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                            #14
                            Hi OP, I am going through almost exactly the same thing at the moment, I know my house is trashed but I still need to evict the tenant. Looking to use a section 8 to evict, as T still has 12 months left on the agreement.


                            I haven't slept for around 10 days now, I feel your pain massively.

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                              #15
                              Many Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and advise
                              This forum has really strengthened me and to know other people are going through same situation as me makes me feel that the police need to do more to support landlords
                              Also going forward I will take on board to review my processes of vetting a T as well as referencing.

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