Electricity theft by criminals using rental properties for cannabis production is soaring.
Overall cases of electricity theft where there are police investigations are projected to be 13% higher this year than last, with an expected 2,200 cases.
In 23% of cases of electricity theft, police suspect it was stolen for the cultivation of illegal drugs.
Insurers say that claims from landlords whose properties have been converted into illegal cannabis farms now account for a third of the total value of all malicious damage claims.
Insurance firm Direct Line of Business said that cannabis production in rental properties can easily cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, including mould and water leakage.
The insurer is warning of tell-tale signs, including where tenants wish to pay up-front for the lease.