Landlords – make sure you’re covered against illegal activity on your property

A recent story in the Nottingham Evening Post and on Central TV hammered home why it’s so important that landlords check the small print of their insurance policy.

Local landlord Jack Carr rents out a house on Foxearth Avenue in Clifton. He says he had a good tenant at the property and no idea that any illegal activity was taking place there. But he soon discovered how wrong he was when he received a call from police in August 2013. They said they had raided the property and discovered a cannabis farm with 268 plants with a street value of over £200,000.

Officers searched the house after neighbours complained of a strong smell. Inside they found large-scale cannabis growing taking place in the upstairs bedrooms and loft. It was a complex set-up involving air ducts to take away the smell, dozens of large light bulbs to help the plants grow and electrical wiring bypassing the meter to get free electricity straight from the mains.

It all caused massive damage to the house and Mr Carr is facing a huge repair bill to put everything right. But when he made an insurance claim, he was told he was not covered under his policy. He says there is no way he can afford the repairs and cannot rent out the house in its current state, but still has to pay the mortgage.

It’s therefore vital that anyone buying insurance check the precise cover their policy provides very carefully so that they are sure it meets their requirements. Unfortunately, the landlord property policy bought by Mr Carr clearly stated that it will not respond to damage caused by illegal activity on his property.