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Beware Of Rental Properties Being Turned Into Cannabis Farms

Beware Of Rental Properties Being Turned Into Cannabis Farms

New Government Guide On Cannabis Farms Launched

The UK Government have launched yet another guide for landlords and their appointed lettings and property management agents warning of the consequences of investment properties being used as cannabis farms.

The launch of the new Home Office Cannabis Farm guide comes as the number of cannabis plants seized by UK police forces across the UK in the past two years exceeds 1 Million.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have stated that its landlord advice team have received calls from a high proportion of private rental sector landlord members who have been affected by criminal activity in their rental properties by drug gangs using them as cannabis farms.

Among a number of concerns that the RLA have is that private landlords can be affected on multiple levels;

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Council tenants in England who sub-let their homes could now face up to 2 years in prison under the coalition government’s new proposals.

The government plans would see the creation of a new criminal offence “Tenancy Fraud”, with a fine of up to £50,000 also possible.

UK Government officials estimate that up to 160,000 tenants sub-let their council homes to other people at cost of £5 Billion a year to the taxpayer.

Grant Shapps, the UK’s Government Housing Minister said: “Tenancy cheats are taking advantage of a vital support system for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and getting away with a slap on the wrist while our waiting lists continue to grow. It’s time for these swindlers to pay the price. It would cost us billions of pounds to replace the huge number of unlawfully occupied social homes across the country. Meanwhile tenancy cheats can earn thousands of pounds letting out their property, which was given to them in good faith and which could instead be offering a stable home to a family in need. The proposals I’ve announced today would not only deliver justice to these fraudsters but will also act as a deterrent to those who think they can earn a fast buck from this precious resource. I want everyone to know that our country’s social homes are going to those in genuine need, not providing a ‘nice little earner’ to someone who could afford to live elsewhere.”

Local councils would also receive more powers to investigate fraud, including better access to information from banks and utility companies.

Ministers are putting the proposals forward for consultation.

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