Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Tenants turn £700k Hove home into drugs factory
3:10pm Saturday 20th July 2013 in News
Cannabis worth around £4,000 has been discovered at a property for the second time in three years.
Unlucky businessman Stephen Strafford rented the £700,000 pristine four-bedroom property in Wilbury Crescent to an electrician, who claimed to be earning £80,000 a year.
Yesterday police raided the house and found around 60-65 cannabis plants in various stages of cultivation in bedrooms and the loft.
They also discovered the electricity meter had been tampered with and holes had been drilled into the wall and ceilings.
Mr Strafford, who has owned the property for 28 years, said: “I’m devastated.
I honestly can’t believe this has happened for a second time.
“I am tempted to get out of this line of business completely.”
A neighbour of Mr Strafford complained to the police three months ago, after becoming suspicious of the amounts of people coming and going, and an increasing smell. He was told that it needed three complaints before action would be taken.
A spokesman from Sussex Police said: “At 8.40am on Friday 19 July, local Hove neighbourhood policing officers executed a search warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at a semi-detached house in Wilbury Crescent, Hove.
“A 26-year-old man from that address and an 18-year-old Hastings woman were arrested at the address on suspicion of cannabis cultivation.
“The man was also arrested on suspicion of abstraction of electricity supply. They are both currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.”
Sergeant Daren Egan said: “This is part of our ongoing activity to disrupt drug supply in Brighton and Hove and we always welcome information from the community which helps greatly in our efforts.”
Neil Friar, who has lived in the area for 35 years, said that the community were “shocked” at the discovery.
He said: “I am totally surprised to hear this has happened again.
“We are amazed that the same crime has happened at the same house.”
Back in 2009, a Chinese family rented the same property and used the house to cultivate 300 cannabis plants in a hydroponics room set up on the first floor. The damage totalled £70,000 plus loss in rent.
Mr Strafford would like to see more rights given to landlords.
He continued: “A lot is done to make sure tenants are protected but I think more needs to be done to protect landlords.
Over the last year, Mr Strafford estimated a £25,000 loss from unpaid rent and damage to his multiple properties.
He said: “It is a national sport to knock the landlords.”
Comments are closed on this article.