Property claims are on the rise after fires at cannabis factories. The industry is set to grow exponentially in Canada, with over 400 companies registered to sell marijuana by July 2018. There have been six fire-related incidents since legalization began last October.
The “hash oil explosion” is a phenomenon that has been seen in the past. The fires have been linked to cannabis factories and rising property claims.
Quinn referenced a recent £1 million lawsuit in which investigators discovered that improper electric wiring caused the fire as a consequence of interior renovations made by two tenants who were cultivating cannabis in nearby terraced dwellings.
“This was a devastating fire that severely destroyed a block of three terraced houses, which were luckily uninhabited at the time,” she added. “The council issued a hazardous structure notice, requiring the roof to be demolished and fence to be installed for public safety reasons.”
Tenancies were established via a management agency, who outsourced tenant references to a third party, which turned out to be fabricated.
Due to allegations that the operation is tied to organized crime, police investigations are still underway. Drug traffickers often hire illegal immigrants to produce cannabis on secret farms, according to Woodgate & Clark. The number of people linked to contemporary slavery and exploitation surged by 95 percent during the epidemic, according to the report.
Electricity, gas, and water are hacked into the mains at these fields, enabling drug traffickers to avoid paying for any of the services. As a result of the illegally bypassed power connections, there is a higher danger of fire.
Illegal cannabis manufacturing in the UK has transitioned to small-scale residential enterprises in recent years. According to government figures, 94 percent of cannabis farms are now placed in residential premises, with police discovering around 25 farms or factories every day.
Apart from fire damage, unlawful alterations to houses used for illicit cannabis production resulted in knocked down ceilings and walls, serious water damage, and damaged electrical fixtures, according to landlords.
Quinn said that the epidemic limited the amount of regular landlord inspections. “We’re advising our property management clients to double-check that renters have the required credit and reference checks, and that routine inspections be reintroduced, particularly now that the pandemic limitations have been lifted.” Some plans cover malicious damage, while others exclude things like harm caused by criminal activities or malicious damage committed by renters.”
According to Woodgate & Clark, there are various signals that a property might be concealing a cannabis farm:
- a strong, pungent odor
- Windows that have been painted over or drapes that are always drawn
- Outside there is physical security.
- Condensation levels are high.
- There are a lot of guests and activity at the property, particularly at odd hours.
- Extremely high power consumption
- Snow melting on a roof might indicate a high level of heat.
- Day and night, there are bright lights.
- Ventilation is always buzzing.