The use of rental homes as cannabis factories by tenants is an increasing problem facing private landlords, warns the National Landlords Association (NLA).

Some 29 police forces across the UK have reported "a sharp increase"in rented housing being used for cannabis production - a worrying issue for private landlords, said David Salusbury, chairman of the landlord interest body.

Tenants who use accommodation for drug trafficking not only breach the law, but negatively affect a landlord's reputation and can damage their properties significantly.

If private landlords have failed to take sufficient precautions, their building insurance claims for damages could be affected.

One incident cited by the NLA involved a tenant who had demolished the interior walls of a property so it could be made more efficient for growing cannabis.

Mr Salusbury said: "By taking references and making regular visits to your property, these problems can be avoided."

This comes after Gwent Police issued a guide to private landlords on how they can assist in the fight against drug problems in rental properties.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19070557-ADNFCR

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