Investment Property Turned Cannabis Farm

By Sharon Fox-Slater on 31 Aug 2015
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Imagine the nightmare of finding your investment property trashed and turned into a cannabis crop house! That was the horror confronting a Victorian investor during a routine inspection of his Geelong rental property last month.

The tenants, who had only been in the house for a few months, had apparently rewired the electricity, cut holes in the floor and the roof and removed cupboards. They were reported to be growing cannabis plants in every available space, the bath to send water to different parts of the house and even turning doors around to make extra space in the bedroom to grow plants.

The damage bill has been estimated in the thousands and the tenants have since vanished with little hope of being caught, according to local police.

The unsuspecting landlord had rented out the property privately and undertaken all reasonable checks, including citing drivers’ licences and previous rental history. As it turns out, the documents were reportedly fake and the friendly, well-dressed manner of the tenants was apparently a tactic to gain the landlord’s trust.

Unfortunately the terrible experience of the Geelong landlord is not uncommon. Rental properties can be targeted for various purposes and landlords should factor in such risks. In some cases, it can pay to utilise the services of a professional property manager to look after the property for you.

Regardless of your decision to rent privately or through an agent, having the right insurance that covers repairs, property damage and even lost rental income is essential to minimise any long-term damage to your property and finances.


About the Author

Sharon Fox-Slater is the Executive General Manager of RentCover, a division of EBM Insurance Brokers which insures 120,000 investment properties around Australia. With 20 years’ experience in landlord insurance, Sharon’s top priority is customer service and positive customer comments are her biggest marker of success. Despite leaving school at 15, Sharon has forged a ground-breaking career – she was the first woman to become a Fellow of the National Insurance Brokers Association. Sharon was recently honoured to have been included in Insurance Business magazine’s Elite Brokers 2013 list.

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