Property Saviour logo
Call Me Back, Please

Sell a cannabis house

Property Saviour » Buying » Sell a cannabis house

Selling a cannabis house is not easy. The UK wholesale market of illegal cannabis is worth £2.5 billion.  Landlords are vulnerable because there’s a strong demand from a rising number of users.

You are a landlord, a victim of crime, and your insurance company may have refused your claim because your tenants were growing a weed farm.

You are not alone. According to the Metropolitan Police, there were 194 criminals convicted in London.

One of the most challenging crimes that landlords face is when tenants set up cannabis farms in their rented properties. Cannabis plants need a temperature of 24-30 degrees Celsius and 16-20 hours of regular light for optimal growth.

These criminals will often damage the property by tearing out fittings, making holes in walls and ceilings, and illegally reconfiguring electrical systems to maximise their crop size.

The resulting damage can cost tens of thousands of pounds. Even worse, the illegal electrical wiring poses a huge fire risk, putting the entire property in danger of going up in smoke.

According to Crimestoppers, cannabis farms have a significant impact on the wider area. Rival gangs and other criminals may break in to steal crops and equipment, often resulting in violence.  These operations are frequently involved in human trafficking.

Those involved in growing and dealing cannabis may have been forced into doing so to pay off debts. Therefore, in addition to being illegal and potentially incredibly damaging financially to you as a landlord, cannabis farms also cause misery to countless other people.

Table of Contents

What is cannabis farming?

To put it simply, cannabis farming occurs when an organised crime gang uses a residential property to grow cannabis in large quantities illegally.  The plants maybe grown in soil or water also known as hydroponically.

This is a significant enterprise throughout the UK and not only is it likely to cause damage to your property, but it also raises the potential for violence to occur.

The size of the property determines how the operation is conducted. In smaller operations, an attic, garage, or single room may be used for farming. However, in larger operations, entire houses may be used.

How to spot a cannabis farm?

Cannabis farms can appear in any residential area, not only in homes but also in the back of shops, old factories, warehouses, and derelict buildings.

What to look out for?  These are tell tale signs of a cannabis farm.

If your neighbour is growing cannabis in a property, report it to Crime Stoppers UK.

Selling a cannabis house
To put it simply, cannabis farming occurs when an organised crime gang uses a residential property to grow cannabis in large quantities illegally.

How to protect yourself and your property?

The truth is, if the proper checks are conducted on an applicant before granting the tenancy and the property is managed professionally, there is simply no opportunity for this kind of criminal activity to take place.

If tenants can set up a cannabis farm, it means the landlord or agent has failed to act properly.

Here are the steps that should ensure your property doesn’t become a hub of criminal activity:

  1. Thorough referencing and credit checks are essential. A robust referencing process is crucial to ensure that a prospective tenant has no criminal convictions, are truthful about their identity, and have a steady source of income to cover the rent. If you are self-managing and have any doubts about their suitability as a tenant during the referencing stage, it is advisable not to proceed.
  2. Please ensure that rent is paid monthly through a standing order or manual bank transfer. It’s important to keep clear records of all rental income. If a tenant can make large cash payments, this is usually a red flag.
  3. Make regular inspections of the property. These inspections should be conducted every 4-6 months during the first year and then at least annually thereafter. It’s a good idea to stay in touch with your tenant from time to time or ensure that your agent does. Our experience indicates that if a tenant has nothing to hide, there should be no issue with arranging inspections. If potential tenants are aware that you conduct regular property inspections, they may opt to rent elsewhere. Apart from inspecting the property itself, verify that the individuals residing in the property are the same as those named on the tenancy agreement.
  4. Have a professionally qualified letting agent manage the property on your behalf. A professional agent will have robust tenant qualification and property management processes in place. If there is criminal activity in the property that can be proven to have been enabled by the agent’s failure to comply with their obligations, you should be able to pursue them for damages.
  5. Ensure your landlord insurance covers malicious damage caused by tenants. This may require requesting it as an add-on, as it’s not always included in a standard policy. It’s important to clarify the financial limit of the cover, as it may not fully cover the cost of repairing substantial damage, such as that caused by cannabis farms. Nonetheless, having insurance can provide some level of protection. Keep in mind that the insurance provider will likely require landlords or their agents to conduct proper referencing and regular property inspections as a condition of cover. Additionally, it’s crucial to confirm with your insurance provider or broker if they offer coverage for illegal activities on your property.
  6. They want to pay six or twelve months’ rent upfront in cash.
  7. They want to move into the property immediately and will not agree to reference or background checks.

What about ‘cuckoo-ing’?

Not all cannabis farmers will approach you as potential new tenants. A new trend spreading around the country is the practice of ‘cuckoo-ing’. Here, criminals target a vulnerable existing tenant, often (but not always) someone with substance misuse problems, a learning disability, or a mental health condition.

The gang will then trick or force the tenant to allow their property to be used as a cannabis farm and/or as a base for drug dealing. In some cases, the original tenant may flee the property and may even become homeless.

There have also been reports of cuckoo-ed tenants becoming victims of modern-day slavery and being forced to work on the cannabis farm for the drug gang against their will. The person being cuckooed may be unwilling to raise concerns for fear of repercussions or violence.

These are signs that a tenant might be being cuckoo-ed:

  • An unexpected surge in the number and variety of visitors to the property has been noted.
  • There has been an increase in the number of vehicles visiting the property, particularly new vehicles, hire vehicles, and taxis.
  • There has also been a rise in general anti-social behaviour in the street and surrounding area. There has been a sudden increase in complaints from neighbours about a tenant.
  • Signs that the tenant may be in distress, such as unexplained injuries, lack of self-care, appearing fearful of being seen speaking to you, and reluctance to leave or return to the property, have been observed.

Legitimate visitors and neighbours may also be reporting similar concerns.

What happens if a tenant is caught growing cannabis?

Under section 8 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, it is illegal to allow a property you own to be used for the growing or supply of cannabis. If you suspect that your tenants may have set up a cannabis farm, you should report it to the police immediately.

The production and possession of cannabis with the intent to supply is a criminal offence that can result in up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine. Landlords and agents who are aware of this kind of illegal activity and fail to report suspicions can be held liable and face the same penalties.

What to do if you suspect a grow house
 Criminal gangs set up grow houses, and they can be incredibly dangerous.  Don’t put your family or you at risk.

What to do if you suspect a grow house?

If you suspect a grow house, then you should NOT pursue this on your own.  Criminal gangs set up to grow houses, and they can be incredibly dangerous.  Don’t put your family or you at risk.

If you suspect energy theft, you can report it to Stay Energy Safe by calling 0800 023 2777.  You’ll always stay anonymous.

How does a cannabis farm damage property?

A cannabis farm will do substantial damage to any property.  Damage caused by criminal activities include:

  1. Ceilings and walls have been knocked through, and floorboards have been ripped out.
  2. Severe water damage has occurred.
  3. There has been a fire  and explosion.

  4. Furniture has been destroyed or thrown away.
  5. The wiring has been ripped out.
  6. Electricity meters have been bypassed.

The consequences for landlords, in both financial and legal terms, can be catastrophic. Additionally, landlords could face prosecution, adding to the financial costs.

How do police investigate grow houses?

Police use several tactics to investigate grow houses.  They include high electricity usage, strong smell from the cannabis, blacked-out windows, and infrared cameras.

One of the most common indicators that police look at is high electricity usage in a property, as cannabis-growing equipment tends to consume a lot of electricity. High water usage can also suggest a growing house due to the large amount of water needed for cannabis cultivation.

A strong indication of a growing house is the smell of cannabis. Although most grow houses have measures to prevent the smell from escaping outside, it is not always completely effective.

Blacked-out windows, excessive condensation on windows, noisy fans, and rapid snow melting on the roof compared to neighbouring properties can all be signs of a growing house.

A more sophisticated tactic that police can adopt is using infrared cameras to identify properties that are significantly warmer than those surrounding them. This temperature difference can be caused by the growth lights used for cannabis plants.

Growhouses may also be discovered when a fire erupts on the property. Cannabis farms can be at a higher risk of fire due to electrical faults in the wiring used to power growing equipment. Fires can occur when operators bypass electric and gas meters.

Ultimately, one of the most common ways in which the police discover grow houses is by receiving tip-offs from the public or confidential informants.

What are the characteristics of a grow house
Unusual level of movement within the property, potentially exceeding normal residential patterns.

What are the characteristics of a grow house?

Here are some of the characteristics of a grow house:

  • Heightened activity: Unusual level of movement within the property, potentially exceeding normal residential patterns.
  • Paranoia and high visitor volume: Tenants exhibit suspicious behaviour and receive a concerning number of visitors at odd hours.
  • Excessive fortification: The property is unusually secured with duct tape on windows and unknown hanging equipment.
  • Dampness and mould: Condensation, peeling wallpaper, and mildewed walls indicate significant humidity issues.
  • Overpowering and conflicting smells: A strong, unpleasant odour masked by excessive deodorisers and air fresheners.
  • Electrical concerns: Fluctuations in electricity bills, tampered wiring, and constant use of powerful lights suggest potential electrical hazards.
  • Disruptive noise levels: Excessive noise at inappropriate times creates a disturbance.

The property has several items both inside and outside, including plants, lights, and reflective materials. There are bulbs, soil, and fertilisers. Flasks, beakers, and rubber tubing can be found, while there are also bubble bags, scales, self-seal bags, and gas cylinders.

If you recognise any of these signs and suspect that your property is being used as a cannabis farm, please contact your local police immediately. Do not confront your tenants on your own.

How to sell cannabis grow house?

You can sell cannabis grow farm to us.  We’ll buy it for cash, allowing you to make a fresh start.  There are no fees and you can move on with life plans stress-free.  We’ll complete the purchase within 10 days.

Sell with certainty & speed

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
Share This Article:

Related Articles

Skip to content