When a husband and wife rented their home to a respectable couple, the last thing they might have expected was to find that it had been turned into a cannabis factory. However, when Shaun and Katie Thomas returned to the house, they found it filled with 500 cannabis plants worth £250,000.
Having rented their family home to a seemingly perfect pair of tenants, who produced good references and were able to pay £850 a month rent, Mr and Mrs Thomas moved to South Wales with their family. When the couple came back to carry-out a routine inspection they found tons of soil stored in the loft, “hundreds of plants, masses of lights and cables everywhere and ducts going up through the roof”.
The soil was found to have caused structural damage, other parts of the house were water damaged, and holes had been knocked into walls damaging the electrical supply. The tenants fled as the inspection was being carried out, and the landlords have been left liable for thousands of pounds of restoration work. Although the house was insured, they have received no compensation as they were not covered for ‘malicious damage’ and police have been unable to trace the tenants.
Although this sort of issue is not particularly common, many problems do arise when people consider letting their property. If you are thinking of letting your property, Kiteleys can advise on drafting Residential Tenancy Agreements, as well as on many other areas of property law. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.