The North West has the highest number of cannabis plant seizures in the country with no fewer than 55,166 in the space of a year.
And that figure for 2017 is, in fact, a 13.6 per cent reduction on the previous 12-month period.
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Figures from landlord insurance provider Direct Line for Business also show Greater Manchester Police has conducted more investigations into into energy abstraction (stealing electricity) for illegal drug cultivation than any other force, with 213 between 2016 and 2018: that’s 32 per cent of cases related to drugs.
Matt Boatwright, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “Cannabis cultivation is prolific across the country, and is a particular concern for landlords whose properties are used for illegal activity.
“The last thing a landlord wants is to find out a tenant has been using their property to grow drugs, as not only will they face a police investigation, but there could also be significant damage to the property.
“It can cost thousands to repair the damage caused by cannabis growers as buildings are often riddled with damp and require extensive repairs.
“Repairing your property if it has been used as a cannabis farm will be a costly and disruptive process.
“It is essential to conduct proper background checks on tenants, regularly inspect the property inside and out and watch out for suspicious activity such as the tenant asking to pay in cash for months in advance.”
Signs your rental property may be being used to cultivate cannabis:
The smell – cannabis has a distinctive smell that a landlord is likely to question if they enter a property;
Noise levels – growers are likely to install extraction fans for ventilation and you may hear this when outside or inspecting a property;
Cabling – there may be cabling laid outside the property to illegally extract energy from street lights, external supplies or a neighbouring property;
Blackouts – windows may be obscured to prevent people seeing in;
Barriers – there may be bars installed to doors or windows; and
Heat – watch out for high levels of heat and condensation.