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"Cannabis farms on the increase"

Landlords should be super-vigilant about what their tenants get up to, after a 30% increase in insurance claims related to cannabis farming in rental properties.


Matthew Gordon, underwriting manager at insurers Aviva, said: “We settled 92 cannabis farming claims last year, which is the highest number Aviva has ever recorded.


“Cannabis farming comes with serious risks for landlords. Properties can be completely ruined inside to make space for plants, water damage can occur, and fire is a risk due to interference with electrics or strong lighting left on for a long time.


“There are some simple steps that can be taken. We would advise thorough checks on tenants and regular visits to properties – both internal and external inspections. Permanently closed curtains, blacked-out windows and strong smells are all signs that there may be a cannabis factory on the premises.”


Aviva automatically covers damage caused by cannabis farming as long as a number of procedures are in place. These include obtaining written employers’ references and verified records of a bank account for new tenants, as well as a log of property inspections.


Gordon said: “It’s important that property owners have adequate insurance and that they take ‘reasonable precautions’ to prevent any damage occurring.


“Employing a letting agent to manage the tenant-vetting process and provide an inspection service on the landlord’s behalf is a good option, as insurers could refuse a claim if a landlord has been found to neglect their responsibilities.”

 

www.rla.org.uk

 

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