Monday, February 24, 2020

Property Investment – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Property investors are always being urged to follow the mantra of ‘location, location, location’ when searching for potential investments but three recent stories reaffirm that slogan.

In the first, Australian police officers swooped on several properties looked after by a rental agency to discover the homes were being used to grow marijuana.

Police say they found 25 properties in Melbourne being used to grow the drug and have arrested 16 people and confiscated more than 3,000 cannabis plants as part of their investigation.

Apparently, the drug labs cost more than £455,000 to set up and among those being arrested are the two directors and joint owners of an estate agency.

The properties were being managed by the firm called Barry Plant Epping, which is a franchise operation.

Red light for brothel

Mike McCarthy, the firm’s chief executive, said that the two directors who are facing charges are not employees of the company and that they face losing their franchise licence if the alleged offences are proved.

The two men say they are innocent and are co-operating with their head office.

Mr McCarthy said in a statement: “Nothing like this has occurred in our history. These are serious charges and everyone in our group, from head office right through our 82 franchises, is shocked and dismayed.”

If the neighbours of the cannabis farms in Melbourne were unaware of what was happening, the same cannot be said for those living close to an apartment being used as a brothel in Wellington, New Zealand.

Their complaints prompted its closure, but not because it was working as a brothel since they are legal in the country, but because those running it breached ‘working from home’ by-laws.

Gay sauna

The city’s council acted after complaints that up to 20 prostitutes were working round-the-clock and punters were knocking on the wrong doors at all hours of day and night.

The local by-laws state that for a business to run from a residential property it must have no more than three people working there at any one time, and at least one of those must live there.

Perhaps the reddest of faces should belong to the person who stumped up £20 million of the Catholic Church’s money to buy an apartment block in Rome which also houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna.

The entrance to the sauna is just feet away from the front door to the 12-room apartment of Cardinal Ivan Dias, a senior Vatican figure.

Along with his home, the block also houses 18 other apartments, many of which are home to priests.

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