Though landlords are a difficult lot to summon sympathy for – sorry, you want us to pay how much for our itty-bitty windowless flat? – our heart (nearly) bleeds to learn of this role reversal: landlords gouged by tenants. Truly? So it would seem. Cannabis factories have gained a foothold in west London rentals – the police shuttered 36 of them last year in Hounslow alone – and the losses incurred by property owners are in some cases running to the tens of thousands in pounds. The Hounslow council has made grant money available to landlords to repair their damaged property but warns that assistance is limited, as rentals are, after all, a business venture, with all the risk that that entails.
'Tis an unfortunate, if ironic, situation in which the landlords find themselves. We watch Weeds, so, like, we know what goes on in those grow houses. Yet, Hounslow deputy leader Mark Bowen’s recommendations on the matter don’t exactly strike us as satisfactory either:
Our advice to landlords is to ensure you do proper checks on tenants and make visits every six to eight weeks.
Every six to eight weeks? Cripe. We bristle at the idea of such frequent incursions into our precious little living spaces, and we’ve got nothing to hide besides an unwieldy mound of dirty laundry and an alarming collection of empty wine bottles. Councillor Bowen continues:
Small signs, like curtains being pulled during the day, can indicate wrongdoing.
Nocturnal west Londoner day slumberers, consider yourself warned: been acting a bit dodgy lately, haven’t you?
Reports that the list of suspicious activities goes on to include round-the-clock pizza delivery, a fondness for lava lamp décor and excessive giggling during repeat viewings of Snoop’s recent German mobile phone advert –
– have been attributed once again to Londonist’s overactive imagination.