Estate agent pulls 'drug factory' listing

A room full of plant pots and debris
A room full of plant pots and debris


Yorkshire estate agent has removed its listing for a terraced house in Halifax after posting photos that showed it full of cannabis-growing equipment.

Last December, police raided the four-bedroom house and found it crammed with 1,200 cannabis plants. But while the plants were removed, the house was left full of rubbish, including hundreds of plant pots. Home-made ventilation pipes are seen running through the walls.

See also: British granny on benefits reveals cannabis growhouse

See also: Could you deal with this mess in your new home?

The photographs show the devastation caused by the cannabis farmers. Plaster has fallen off the ceiling and wallpaper has peeled off the walls, presumably because of the high humidity.

Doors have been taken off their hinges, wires hang from the ceiling and cardboard has been used to cover up the windows to try and hide the criminals' 'grow lights'.

While some rooms look relatively normal, others are filled with rubble, as is the small back yard.

The remains of the cannabis factory
The remains of the cannabis factory

Agents House Simple say that the property 'needs full cleaning' but have priced it at £50,000 - a similar price to other houses nearby. They suggest it would make a 'brilliant' buy-to-let.

Landlords aren't liable if their tenants set up a cannabis farm as long as they weren't aware of it. However, as the state of this house illustrates, the clean-up costs can be huge.

"The cost of cleaning up a cannabis farm can be as big a financial headache as it is a practical one – not to mention the stress of loss of income during periods of repair. It is therefore imperative that landlords do the right background checks and reference their new tenants thoroughly," says Nick Breton, head of insurance firm Direct Line for Business.

"Don't be tempted to accept cash offers of rent months in advance either, as this may be a sign that the applicant is intending to use the property for criminal activity."

Last summer, an analysis by Direct Line for Business revealed that police were seizing a whopping 1,000 cannabis plants a day. While the West Midlands had the most seizures, Yorkshire and the Humber had more than 32,000 plants seized. West Yorkshire Police have made several busts in the last few weeks alone.