Landlady finds £160,000 of cannabis in property let out to businessman
A Yorkshire landlady found £160,000 worth of cannabis growing in her house after letting it out to a businessman.
Timothy Young, 48, was caught out after his landlady returned with her family to the UK to attend a funeral and went to inspect the property.
She went to the house on Hollingthorpe Lane, Hall Green, Wakefield and a woman answered the door who claimed to be the cleaner. Due to the property looking unkempt and some of the windows being boarded up she became suspicious, so telephoned Young. He told her that he was abroad and would not be able to get back until the next day.
So she parked her car down the street and watched the property. The woman who answered the door left shortly after, so the landlady used her key to enter the house and was hit by a strong smell of cannabis. She called the police and 460 plants were found growing in the garage, which was fitted with a sophisticated lighting and watering system.
Young pleaded guilty to producing a class B drug and was jailed for three years. The landlady now faces a £23,000 repair bill for the damages caused by the cannabis farm.
Keith Whitehouse, mitigating, said Young was sorry and had handed himself in when he realised police were looking for him. Judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “It was plainly an extensive operation.”
This case is a prime example of why it is so important to make sure that as a landlord you are getting a tenant reference that can alert you to this sort of previous behaviour in rented accommodation.
The warning signs to look out for that your buy-to-let property is being used as a cannabis farm:
- Paranoid behaviour
- Excessive fortification (internal & external)
- Silver ducting tape hanging out of windows.
- Gas cylinders.
- Bin bags filled with vegetation.
- Pungent smell.
- Humidity – condensation on windows, peeling wallpaper, mildewed walls.
- Sudden increases and decreases in electricity bills.
- Electrical wiring tampered with.
- Powerful lights on day and night.
- Blocked out windows.
- Unusual amount of activity when tenants first move in.
- A large number of visitors (day and night).
- Plants, lights and reflective materials.
- Bulbs, soil, fertiliser.
- Bubble bags.
- Self-seal bags.
- Low level hanging equipment.
- Excessive use of deodorisers and air freshener.
- Flasks, beakers, rubber tubing.
Are you a landlord who has had previous tenants who have grown cannabis in your property? If so please join LandlordReferencing.co.uk (free) today and register these tenants onto our proactive system (free); primarily to protect other landlords and tenants in the future from similar issues occurring. And even if you haven’t, please consider joining to prevent this from happening to your property in the future.
It is a proven statistic that most people who actively participate in criminal activity, drug trafficking and anti-social behavior rent their homes, and that is why Landlords and Letting Agents who unite their data together are fast becoming the gate-keepers of our communities.
Contact your local officer through the police website, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you suspect drug-related activity is going on in your area.
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