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Two cousins were jailed yesterday after they turned their rented home into a cannabis farm, in central Hartlepool.
Mark Robbins, 42, and Sean Keenan, 29, were caught by police with 23 large cannabis plants worth almost £10,000 after the landlord smelt the drugs from outside the property.
The landlord grew increasingly suspicious after he noticed the high electricity bill, and once he discovered the cannabis being grown in his property, he immediately informed the police.
It transpired that Robbins and Keenan had multiple previous convictions for various offences including drugs.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court that the police visited the flat just hours later with a search warrant on October 27, 2015.
She said that it was a commercial venture capable of producing 989 grams with a total value of £9,890.
Keenan was jailed for 13 months, while Robbins was jailed for nine months after they pleaded guilty to production of a Class B drug.
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:
Are you a landlord who has had previous tenants who have grown cannabis in your property? If so please join TenantReferencingUK.com (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 proactively 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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