I think my investment property is being used as a drug laboratory – what must I look for? No landlord wants to see their investment property involved in a medication bust on the night-time information. Illegal drug manufacturing can cause tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to rental properties and leave unsuspecting landlords without rental income for a great deal of time.
Tenants involved in cultivating illegal drugs, such as cannabis, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and ice, will go to great lengths to cover their activities making early recognition crucial to help avoid or minimize financial publicity. Self-managed landlords may become more in danger as they may not have the same resources or experience to perform as thorough assessments as property managers.
There are, however, some symptoms that your investment property could be used as a medication lab. Look for potential tampering of the property. Hydroponic set ups may require hoses or pipes to be filtered through the roofing or the property’s man opening. Unexplained holes in the ceiling could be a sign of hidden systems.
Meter boards are generally tampered with or rewired, those particularlysituated near wall space, walk-in-wardrobes or built-in cupboards in order for connecting electricity wires to the billed power source. Extensive and excessive security systems, such as barbed wire fences, CCTV cameras, and guard dogs, can also be cause for suspicion. When conducting property inspections, look for signs that the property is being lived in. Drug manufacturers generally do not live in the properties they are using to cultivate drugs.
Drawn curtains or lowered roller shutters in hours of sunlight could be indications of attempts to cover up illegal activity. Infrequent visitors during unusual hours or for short periods of time can also cause suspicion. From an insurance perspective, harm caused by the unlawful activity may be looked at by the insurance company as a malicious act which means you should check your policy concerning whether this can be an insured event.
Intense light, which is used in hydroponics can cause noticeable fading to paintwork so check beneath mats and behind photo frames and open doorways for discrepancies in color. Similarly, look for signals of water damage, such as warped wall space and floorboards, or stained carpets and rugs, as there’s a chance it could be more than only a leaky roof. Certain items are used to manufacture illegal drugs commonly, including glass flasks, beakers, rubber tubing, gas cylinders, chemical containers, drums, drain cleaner, garden cough, and fertilizer, allergy, or cold medicine. Non-visible damage, such as the forensic cleaning required on a property that is used to manufacture chemical compounds, is often one of the very most expensive costs.
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Portable air conditioners are also often used when cultivating hydroponic plants. If such items can be found at the house and are inconsistent with useful use, it could indicate the existence of a drug laboratory. New potential drug manufacturing tenants may be willing to pay rent months in advance and be happy to pay cash. This may be their way of keeping their landlord ‘off their backs’ and leaving no paper trail for the government bodies.
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