According to an online broker, landlords should be on high alert after receiving a record number of damage claims for rented properties being used as cannabis factories.

The broker says claims range from fires caused by lighting systems being used for growing the plants, to floorboards ripped up to make space for growing equipment.

Steve Bradley, of UKinsuranceNET, said: “We have even had instances of a landlord turning up to inspect the property and finding that all the locks have been changed.

“When he contacted the police to gain entry, he found not tenants, but rooms full of cannabis plants.”