Complaints about cannabis smells?

Complaints about cannabis smells?

10:24 AM, 22nd January 2021, About 3 years ago 7

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I have a long term tenant in a block of 8 Victorian flats. The parking and garden arrangements mean the residents can easily see into the ground floor flats as they pass.

My letting agent has had 5 complaints over the last 3 months. One neighbour phoned once to say she could smell cannabis from my flat. Another man has made 4 anonymous and increasingly irate phone calls. In the last call he said he can hear “buzzing noises” and claims there might be a cannabis farm in operation.

We only managed one inspection in 2020 in July and all was fine. My letting agent called the Police for advice after the most recent complaint, but they say there is no evidence to merit a search warrant and they don’t intend to do anything.

My question: should I do any more? I do not want to harass my tenant and when we can resume inspections, I will be able to check if there is any damage from illicit horticulture. I am concerned about potential safety hazards, and will bring forward the EICR inspection due in 2023.

I’m interested to know if anyone has had similar challenges and has any suggestions.



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Reluctant Landlord

14:02 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 3 years ago

any way you can read the meter to see what the usage has been like? Is this 'normal' usage? Is there signs of wiring up external to the flat to another electric source?
Any cctv cameras you can utilise to see comings and goings?


16:52 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 3 years ago

I don't think you're forbidden by covid regulations from inspecting, (although I haven't fully kept up with all the changes), so in this situation I would arrange an inspection with the usual 24 hours notice posted through the door. They may decline to allow you in or you may find they've changed the locks. Those would be further grounds for suspicion. The neighbours need to start complaining to the tenant and/or the Police if they have concerns, not to you.

LordOf TheManor

19:40 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 3 years ago

I agree with David. Arrange to send a clerk in as part of a routine inspection (i.e. 3 months into the tenancy etc) and see what the response is. Yes, be suspicious if the clerk can't get in. Increase surveillance of the property if that's the case. There are clues to follow if you look online for them.

Increased usage on a meter means nothing to the energy suppliers. They don't investigate. When I asked why they hadn't picked up the sudden increased usage for the farming at one of my places, the reply was: 'Well, how do we know that they haven't installed a hot tub?' Obviously it's not in their remit to identify a sudden increase to 5 times the national average for the property size!!

It is worth pursuing getting inside. If the local Council get in before you, you risk being shut down if the growing is a part of supply chain. Calling the Police after the tenants have done a runner with all their destruction left at your place won't help you, either. The Police pursue active crimes only, no matter how many stripped plants are found. You'll get a crime reference in that case, but nothing more.

Hope it works out well for you.



19:46 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 3 years ago

It seems Cannabis farming is not a priority any more for police. Another thing they are letting slip, along with shop lifting etc. It is legal in county Durham to grow for your own usage. So about 5 plants i think.

I think this policy is the correct one. The issue for a LL is industrial farming of the plant. As above it can bring anti social smells etc. and damage property.

For me i would be doing an inspection ASAP.


14:32 PM, 25th January 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 22/01/2021 - 19:46
"It is legal in county Durham to grow for your own usage"


Surely not?


15:17 PM, 25th January 2021, About 3 years ago

It was implemented over 6 years ago, but googling it again it seems you can still be arrested. But what is the reality really ? In Bradford one tenant seems to think it is not being enforced there as well.

The reality is the world is turning away from criminalising this drug. It makes sense to me, but i still wouldn't want someone growing their own in my property.

Pamela Young

15:48 PM, 25th January 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by RL at 22/01/2021 - 14:02
Hello, we thought about that but have no reason to enter the flat to take readings. We also don't have a history of usage. There's no CCTV either. Thanks for the suggestions.

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