The recent report from Aviva about claims made for landlords of property let out to people who use the facilities to grow cannabis raises questions about cover provided now and in the future.
Although many landlord insurance policies will cover malicious damage by tenant, not all will so it is sensible for landlords to check that their policy does provide this cover.
Landlords should also, as a matter of course, regularly inspect property they let out. This has to be done annually to check gas appliances and regularly for the electricity. However it would be good practice to check on a regular basis to ensure that the tenant is obeying the terms of the lease. Even if they are not growing cannabis, some might be damaging the property, selling off the boiler or radiators! Identifying such rogue tenants quickly will minimise losses and help to keep premiums down.
Cannabis farms use a lot of electricity to heat the rooms - this is always stolen by shorting out the meter. Farms can often be identified by e.g. snow melting off roofs very quickly and windows being curtained all day - though it should be pointed out that not every property with such attributes is a cannabis farm - it may just be badly insulated!
Landlords will also be helping each other. If this sort of thing escalates then insurance companies may start imposing exclusions on claims where the property is used for cannabis growing.
You have been warned.
For more information contact JB Portwood john.portwood#portwood.co.uk