Some 500 cannabis plants worth a potential £250,000 have been discovered at a rental property in Gateshead.

David Scott, the father of the private landlord who owns the property, found the drugs factory during a routine inspection of the premises, reports the Evening Chronicle.

Three Chinese tenants have been living in the residence in Chester Place since the start of the year, when private landlord Tim Scott moved to London.

Suspicion arose when the landlord-tenant relationship was disrupted by the three occupiers giving fake phone numbers and changing the locks.

"The tenants changed the main lock on the front door but had forgotten to change the Yale lock - when my dad went round again, they had forgotten to lock the door, so my dad used the Yale key to get in,"the property owner told the newspaper.

He added that when the discovery was made, his 60-year-old father was in "shock".

The National Landlords Association has campaigned this year to raise awareness of rental properties being used to produce drugs. Incidents around the UK have been reported in recent months.

Written by Sarah FieldADNFCR-2002-ID-19295628-ADNFCR

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