Landlords’ drug warning

Eighty per cent of police drug search warrants in Victoria are for rental properties.

COLAC police have urged landlords to choose their tenants carefully in an effort to curb the number of drug laboratories in rental houses.

Colac Criminal Investigation Unit’s Detective Sergeant Peter Griffiths said illegal drug manufacturing on rental properties was a state-wide problem.

“It’s definitely an issue, so landlords and agents in the area need to be vigilant with property inspections and if they do come across anything suspicious, they should report it immediately to police or Crime Stoppers,” Det Sgt Griffiths said.

Det Sgt Griffiths’ call comes after Victoria Police released figures from the state’s biggest cannabis bust in November which showed 80 per cent of drug search warrants were for rental properties.

Victorian Drug Task Force’s Detective Sergeant Mark Collins said illegal drug labs had lasting effects on the community.

“The number of rental houses used to grow drugs is concerning and it’s something we see in our work every day and something the wider community need to be aware of,” Det Sgt Collins said.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria has advised landlords to hire a professional property manager and demand rental references from applicants to reduce the risk of illegal conduct in their houses.

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