Rental property owners have been urged to consider tenant vetting processes from letting agents as part of the ongoing battle against cannabis farms in the UK.

Mike Colmans, underwriting manager at Norwich Union, said private landlords are often unaware that tenants are using accommodation for the production of cannabis.

Last month a local landlord was stunned after he faced property damages worth £70,000 after his home was used as a cannabis farm by tenants, The Argus reported.

To ensure private landlords avoid such a financial nightmare, Mr Colmans suggested that they should take extra precautions.

"Vetting the tenant is essential. As is carrying out extensive background checks, including checking bank details and references,"he said.

Insurers may not pay out to landlords who have failed to take reasonable precautions to stop their tenants using rented properties for cannabis farms, Mr Colmans warned.

Research by Norwich Union found that 60 incidents of this type of claim in 2007 totalled a value of more than £1 million.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19026021-ADNFCR

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