Page last updated at 21:35 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 22:35 UK

Landlords warned about drug dens

cannabis plants

Landlords in west London are being warned to watch who they rent their properties to as gangs are turning rented houses into cannabis factories.

Police in Hounslow closed down 36 cannabis factories in the borough last year but complaints continue.

About half a dozen landlords in the borough have contacted the council asking for help after gangs caused thousands of pounds of property damage.

Police say the factories are often controlled by Vietnamese gangs.

Supt Simon Harris said: "A common theme, particularly in Hounslow, seems to be a Vietnamese link over what's happening inside the factories, securing the properties and installing the equipment necessary to grow the plant."

'Violated'

Furkan Javaid rented out a property earlier this year but the tenants caused 40,000 worth of damage after installing hydroponic and lighting equipment in his home.

"You feel so violated," he said. "You trust people with your property, you give them a roof over their head.

"They were a young couple starting out, they looked really smart and it's really made me think about trusting people again."

The council said help from the local authority would be limited.

"We're certainly keen to engage and help where we can but all the landlords at the same time have to understand that it's a business and they have to be aware of the risk," said the council's deputy leader Mark Bowen.




SEE ALSO
Cannabis factory is closed down
29 May 07 |  London
Call to weed out drug factories
10 Aug 05 |  London

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