One of the best bits of advice you can give anyone starting out in the letting business is to keep a very careful eye on your properties. Even if you have employed a reputable agent it is worth keeping tabs on what is going on to be sure that your tenants are looking after the house properly.
One of the worst abuses that tenants might be committing is running a cannabis farm. Apparently, the drugs gangs believe they are less likely to be found out if they divide their operations between several locations rather than concentrate them at one industrial scale establishment. Some rental properties make ideal cannabis farms, especially if they are in locations where the neighbours are unlikely to work out what is going on. Clients with buy to let property need to be sure that appropriate checks are made on any potential tenants and that someone visits regularly.
In a recent case a landlord inspected his property after a humming noise was reported and he found a cannabis farm being tended by an illegal immigrant from Vietnam. The drugs gangs are said to bring people into the country illegally and then force them to work in the cannabis farms to pay off the debt for their transport. A typical farm in a suburban house might contain two to three hundred plants, being looked after by a couple of people.