Commercial and residential landlords up and down the land are finding that their trust is being breached and their properties misused on an ever-increasing scale.
Cannabis grows have been a problem for landlords for a long time now, but worryingly, the scale of these grows seems to be more ambitious with every one that is discovered.
Stretched police resources may have something to do with this, just as changing attitudes towards cannabis use may have as well. Either way, this activity is illegal, costly and for Court Enforcement Agents like ours, highly dangerous.
We’re talking about a multimillion-pound industry here, where organised crime and rival gangs look to generate a high percentage of their cash flow through the growth, cultivation and distribution of their product.
By hijacking mains power supplies, avoiding paying rent and damaging premises, these criminals are hitting landlords hard. Often, criminals will use ‘dummy’ tenants to arrange the lease of the property, only for these individuals to disappear once the tenancy has been agreed.
This is where the highly organised operation begins, and where the grows get underway in earnest.
Irrigation systems, lighting rigs, temperature monitors and ph. testing equipment, it’s a highly technical process.
So, what does this mean for Court Enforcement Specialists and others in the industry?
Well, it spells danger, in a number of guises.
Firstly, our agents are at risk when trying to seize these properties for landlords due to the nature of the people organising the cannabis grow.
With hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of plants behind the locked doors, it’s not likely that the occupants will be prepared to let their product go without a fight.
This means that the properties may be booby trapped, or even guarded, which is something our agents are prepared for.
In truth though, how much can you really prepare for something like that?
Another threat comes in the form of the rigged electrics. Tapping into the mains to bypass the utilities bills means that wires have to be cut and amateur connections made.
Every single step inside a property could be a step closer to electrocution.
It’s not very pleasant reading when you consider the potential threats, but as dedicated Enforcement Specialists, we endeavour to return our clients’ properties to them in the best possible state and in the quickest possible time.
Raising awareness of the dangers of the industry is crucial to establishing understanding, patience and empathy for the work that our agents do.
Getting the work done is crucial to our clients, and so we’ll continue to crack down on this growing issue.
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