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Stop Your Rental Property from Being Used for Illegal Activity

Stop Your Rental Property from Being Used for Illegal Activity

Your Rental Property from Being Used for Illegal Activity

This two-minute read looks at how landlords can keep
their property safe from criminals and dodgy dealers.

landlord has lost sleep worrying about what goes on in their rental property
when they’re not around.

always a flicker of fear that a tenant – no matter how trustworthy they seem –
might turn out to be a nightmare and cause damage to the property.

carpet stains and chipped paint could be the least of a landlord’s worries in
the scheme of things.

criminals use your property for illegal activity, you could wind up with an
expensive repair bill and a starring role in a court case.
(And if the property is designated a crime scene, it could be off-limits for weeks
while police investigate.)

most tenants are law-abiding citizens, with criminals employing ever more
sophisticated tactics, it’s worth being on your guard.

properties are sometimes used for:

  • Drug production. Over the past 20 years,
    there’s been a steady increase in the use of domestic properties for
    cannabis farms or meth labs.
  • Drug dealing.
  • People trafficking.
  • Gambling dens or the sale of illicit
    cigarettes and alcohol.

to do if you’re suspicious

bury your head in the sand. If the authorities can prove you were aware of the
illegal activity taking place at your property but took no action, there could
be severe repercussions.

the relevant authority and keep a note of what you’ve seen or heard (but don’t play
detective, leave that to the experts).

out for

  • Tenants with long, convoluted stories as to why
    they can’t show you the appropriate ID.
  • Tenants who install their own deadbolts, CCTV
    or alarms, and are dead against you arranging a planned property
  • Blacked-out windows and unusual smells. Meth
    labs can smell like cat’s wee, while cannabis farms have a distinctive,
    sweet odour.
  • Changes to the wiring (cannabis farmers often
    rejig it to bypass the electricity meter).


  • Have a rigorous tenant screening process.
  • Run a mile from tenants offering to pay
    several months’ rent in advance in cash.
  • Carry out regular inspections.
  • Do things by the book. Criminals are looking
    for landlords who are lax or absent.
  • Build good relations with the neighbours. They
    could be the first to notify you if something fishy is going on.
  • Trust your instincts.

this all feels like a tall order, you could get an experienced letting agent to
manage your property.

That way, you can sleep easy knowing that your investment is safe.

From all of us here at CWB Property, don’t have nightmares and
thanks for reading.