Real Estate news - You know you're in trouble when...

In South Africa, landlords get nervous when the tenants in their properties send the garden service away. After all, any illegal activities could mean the confiscation of the property - not to mention having lazy, bleary-eyed tenants who might skip payments.

In the UK, though, plants grow very well indoors, thanks to central heating.

Propertyweek.com recounts the tale of a London landlord who happily handed over the keys to his Ipswich three-bedroom home to a well dressed young man in his thirties who drove a BMW X5. The tenant said he was going to live there with his parents.

Three months later, Trevor Hatcher found this tenant had turned the top floor of the house into a cannabis factory. "There were holes in the ceiling, polythene on the walls and the electricity supply had been rewired to bypass the meter: ‘That cost us £12,000, and that's only a three-bedroom semi-detached house,' Hatcher told Propertyweek.com.

The property news site tells us that cannabis factories are a growing concern in the United Kingdom. Commercial landlords can fall victim too, it says, publishing a picture of a bobby literally up-to-her eyeballs in flourishing dagga plants in one such indoor factory.

"With tenants thin on the ground and the burden of business rates on empty properties, landlords may be willing to cut corners to get tenants in. However, insurers warn that landlords could jeopardise potential insurance payouts by not vetting tenants well enough. They also say that rising unemployment could drive more people to criminal activities."

According to Propertyweek.com: "Home Office figures report the police raided more than 3,000 cannabis factories in the UK in the year to 31 March 2008 and seized more than half a million cannabis plants."

Article from: www.realestateweb.co.za