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Self-managed landlords targeted by drug rings

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Gangs using rentals to manufacture drugs are more likely to seek out landlords who manage their own property, a leading insurance company has warned.

Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer Insurance said it was not uncommon for drug syndicates to lease a property with the intention of manufacturing methamphetamines or growing marijuana.

“We deal with claims on a national basis. At any given point, we're dealing with a couple in each state,” she said.

She warned these activities, aside from being illegal, could cause severe damage to the investor’s asset.

“There might be damage to the house because they've modified the electricity or water supply, but the property also needs to be tested for safety because the chemicals can seep into paintwork and carpets. It's actually quite toxic,” she said.

In her experience, self-managed landlords are particularly at risk.

“We've tended to find that tenants will target self-managed landlords in those situations because they might be less likely to do more regular inspections on the property,” she said.

“It's less likely this will happen if you have a good property manager.”

Frequently, she said drug syndicates would abscond from the property with no warning.

“One of the issues with drug labs is often they rent the property for a period of time, do the work they need to do and then abandon the property. There will be trace left of what they've done but there is a funny smell that hangs around,” she said.

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