Criminal gangs target landlords

Nia Williams

February 4, 2010

Privately-rented homes across the UK are being used as a smokescreen to grow cannabis in homemade factories, and produce the harmful drug crystal meth. But it’s not just drugs, according to the NLA. Prostitution is also found across the private-rented sector, with homes being used as brothels. Criminals are attracted to rented properties, often in quiet residential areas, as a base to operate without the fear of being disturbed.

Unfortunately, when these kind of crimes take place, it’s the landlord who ends up footing the bill. Many insurance policies are rendered invalid when criminal activity takes place in a property and the damage caused can run into thousands of pounds.

David Salusbury, chairman, NLA, said: “It is vital landlords are aware of the threat these criminals pose. Criminal activity not only has an impact on the landlord’s property, but on the community as whole. The production of some drugs involves highly flammable material, which poses a dangerous fire risk. More worryingly, criminals use the proceeds of their crime to fund other, more serious crimes such as people trafficking.

”You may think ‘it will never happen to me’, but these incidents are on the increase. The checks you make before a tenant moves in are a key way to prevent becoming a victim of these crimes.”

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