Cannabis farm appears in estate agent advert


Estate Agency Besley Hill accidentally advertised a property in Bristol on Rightmove, without removing the evidence that it had previously been used as a cannabis farm. One photograph clearly shows plant pots, ventilation pipes and fans.

So what happened, and how does a dodgy past affect the value of a property?%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
One photograph, used to advertise the two-bedroom Victorian home in the Easton area of the city, revealed the unsavoury past of the property. The photo was of one of the bedrooms, which showed plant pots, cabling, and ventilation systems. The rest of the home was spruced up for sale, but the photographer and the person who compiled the particulars overlooked this room.

The property, which is on sale for £130,000 had been raided by police, and was advertised as being 'in need of refurbishment'.

The photograph was pointed out by someone using the site and the photograph was removed; however screen grabs have since appeared on Twitter. Hundreds of people have retweeted it, some with their own comment. Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors added the suggestion that they: "Should have gone to Specsavers."

Does it matter?

PR business owner Andrew Bloch commented: "Great PR for RightMove".

It's hard to know how this mistake will affect the selling price of the property. There's no doubt that it will have dramatically increased awareness that the property was for sale. And there's an argument that many of the buyers in the area are already aware of the alternative lifestyle adopted by some residents.

And having an unusual past is not necessarily off-putting to all buyers. There are no end of upmarket flats in what were once Victorian mental institutions, when care for the mentally ill was a very different business, and shackling and cells were commonplace.

There are plenty of converted public toilets around the country, and even a converted police station, so the history of a place seems to matter less to buyers than you might think.

However, there are some houses where most people would draw the line. We reported in September of the family in Sacramento Old City who offered tours of their home as part of a charity event. Their house was previously a boarding house where landlady Dorothea Puente killed her elderly tenants in the 1980s and buried them in the garden.

However, rather then trying to hide the property's past the current owners have decided to make a feature of it with a mannequin with a shovel in the garden, and a sign saying: "Trespassers will be drugged and buried in the back yard."

But what do you think? Would you be put off by a property with an unusual past?

Factors damaging property value
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Cannabis farm appears in estate agent advert

Pre-recession, homeowners would give little thought to the idea that local repossessions could affect the value of their home. 101 repossessions were recorded every day during the third quarter of 2011 and it has become a real concern.

A new crime map introduced in March 2011 was welcomed by buyers, but approached with trepidation by homeowners concerned about the impact on local property values. The map allows users to view crime statistics online by postcode to find out the crime rates and types of crime in any area.

It is widely recognized that schools with a good reputation increase competition and property demand within a local area, which in turn increases the values of property within the catchment area. Lose the school and the demand will cease too.

The devastation caused by flooding in recent years doesn't appear to paint a positive picture for homeowners faced with the financial and emotion cost of a huge clean up, insurance complications and the potential damaging effect on property values.

The proposed high speed rail link is depressing house prices for thousands of homeowners on the route and many homeowners feel helpless to stop tumbling property values.


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