Unfortunately, we have witnessed a number of unusual and alarming signs over the years when inspecting rental properties.
We are learning new techniques after stumbling across modern illicit drug production:
- Remain calm to not appear alarmed.
- Aim to leave the property safely.
- Do not suddenly and conspicuously leave the property, casually finish up the inspection and leave calmly.
- Drive way from the property at normal speed.
- When safely away from the property, call the Senior Property Manager and then report the findings to the police and the landlord.
- Allow the police to handle the matter by assessing the situation and choosing the appropriate time to take action.
- If the landlord holds a Landlord Protection Insurance Policy, advise the insurer of the issue pending the need to claim for damage caused by the drug production once the tenants have been removed.
- Bedrooms, sheds, garages locked and non-accessible for inspection.
- Doors to rooms and garage locked, and the tenant states that their partner has the key and they are away at present.
- Tool sheds locked with extension power cords running from the house to a locked un-powered shed.
- Rear yard areas behind garages or sheds closed off.
- False partitions in sheds or in garages.
- Water damage to the bottom of built in wardrobes when completing the final vacating inspection.
- Water stains, damage to ceilings, dirty finger marks on manhole covers or covers, moved/removed.
- Smelly socks smell/cat urine smell (amphetamines production – typical chemical).
- Hazy mist in the premises (clandestine laboratories create fumes).
- Exhaust fans installed without permission.
- Laboratory equipment, glass beakers, multiple chemicals (looks like school chemistry equipment).
- Unusual number of cold/flu tablet packets.
- Chemical containers – cleaning fluids, hydrochloric acid containers.
- Burning or burnt chemical containers in yards.
- Small plastic bags lying around – coin bags or bags suited to hold small pieces of jewellery.
- Sophisticated weight scales.
- Large amounts of tin foil, baking soda.
- Electricity mater and electrics tampered with, new wiring unauthorised.
- Lights in wardrobes, under locked doors of rooms, cellars, basement, under staircase storage rooms.
- Unusually humid rooms.
- Coat hanger wire or lines of wire hanging from ceilings (for tying up stem growth to create height in the plant).
- Newly installed deadlocks and alarms to interior doors, surveillance cameras installed, requests for bars on windows.
- Unemployed tenants driving expensive cars/their visitors appearing in expensive vehicles.
- Tenant wanting to pay rent by cash and months in advance.
- Weapons such as axe handles or baseball bats located near the front door at inspections.
- Metal drums and boxes on the property with labels removed or spray painted over.
Warning Signs from the Neighbours
- Strong cannabis smell emanating from the property.
- Lots of ‘smoke breaks’, people smoking outside all of the time (possible sign of flammable fumes inside).
- Chemical odour coming from the house or from their rubbish bin area.
- Unfriendly, appearing secretive about their behaviour.
- Paranoid or odd behaviour, watching cars as they pass by.
- Blinds always pulled down over windows.
- Windows blacked out with dark plastic or silver foil, or boarded up with wood panels.
- Lots of traffic and people coming and going, usually late at night.
- People coming and going from the property but not actually living in the property.
- Constant humming of extractor fans.
- Tenants and visitors eating outside of the property all the time (due to fumes inside).
We encourage neighbours to contact our agency if they are experiencing issues with the occupants of a rented premises in their street or neighbourhood. We treat reports seriously and value their observations. We ensure that the conversation is treated confidentially and that their identity remains anonymous.