In Canberra, it turns out that ACT Policing are the ones who knock. If you’ve been following the news, then you’ll know that they recently seized more than $6 million worth of cannabis from a number of rental homes across the ACT.
The really scary thing is, the police believe it is likely there are more of these so-called ‘grow houses’ out there in our community. Thankfully, if you own an investment property, there is an easy way to avoid being taken advantage of by criminals.
When police conducted their raids they found over 900 cannabis plants in houses in Kaleen, Calwell, Harrison, MacGregor, Weetangera, Downer and Nicholls. Each of the properties had extensive hydroponic set-ups installed and had received considerable damage.
One of the property owners estimated the damage in their property might cost over $30,000 to repair. Carpets had been ripped up, holes had been torn in the ceilings and walls, power had been rerouted, extension cords and chains were hung from ceilings and wall cavities, and large containers of chemicals were strewn all over the house.
Apart from being completely trashed and full of illegal drugs, the properties had something else in common. They were all private rentals.
The people who rented the properties from their unsuspecting owners used false identification, paid a large cash bond and negotiated month by month lease agreements. Once they were in the property they paid all their rent in cash and repeatedly delayed any rental inspections.
These criminals seem to specifically target self-managed investment properties, because they are able to take advantage of the landlord’s lack of experience and they know they rarely have the time or the energy to follow things up properly.
The lack of a proper tenancy agreement means property owners are left without the protection offered by ACAT. Unfortunately it also means there is a very real risk that their insurance might not cover the damages.
The good news is there is an easy way to prevent something like this from happening to your investment property – use a professional property management service.
Without an experienced property manager to provide guidance and advice, landlords can find themselves very exposed. The fact is, most people don’t know how to run proper background checks on potential tenants. They don’t have the time to perform regular property inspections. And they don’t have an in-depth knowledge of the relevant legislation.
A good property manager can do all these things and they will ensure your investment property has the required level of accountability, oversight and legal compliance. Watch this video to discover the other ways a professional property management service can help you, or contact Independent Property Management.