EXCLUSIVE Glamorous lawyer-turned-fitness guru owned house which sparked mockery when it was advertised online using pictures from when it was a cannabis farm
- The house was advertised using pictures from when it was a cannabis farm
- The five-bedroom property has now been sold at auction at a price of £210,000
A house which was put on the market by estate agents using pictures from when it was used as a cannabis farm is owned by a glamorous lawyer turned fitness guru, we can reveal.
The five-bedroom house made headlines when it was listed for auction with pictures showing it was still full of empty pots, ventilation pipes and growing paraphernalia.
The pictures also showed fans, tangled electrical wires and peeling silver foil on walls designed to reflect heat for growing plants.
MailOnline can now reveal that the property was put up for auction with a guide price of £150,000 to £200,000 by its wealthy owner Nazia Rashid Behrens.
There is no suggestion that she had any knowledge that her house in Mill Hill Lane, Derby, was being using illegally as a cannabis farm.
A house that was advertised using pictures from when it was a cannabis farm was formerly owned by lawyer turned fitness guru Nazia Rashid Behrens (pictured)
Photos from a police raid show cannabis plants growing inside the property after Derbyshire police discovered 500 cannabis plants inside five-bedroom house following a raid in 2019. These photos were not used in the sales listing
The Victorian property was reportedly sold at auction for £210,000 earlier this month
The three storey Victorian property was reportedly sold for £210,000 by estate agents at an auction earlier this month.
READ MORE: Living the high life? Estate agents face online mockery after advertising a £200,000 five-bed family home which used to be a cannabis farm
Land Registry records which have not yet been updated with details of the new owner still list the freehold as belonging to Ms Behrens.
Her home address is given as a four bedroom flat worth more than £2 million which she owns in well-heeled South Kensington, west London.
Ms Behrens, 52, bought the house in Derby as an apparent buy-to-let investment for £196,000 in March, 2007.
Its use for an illegal cannabis growing operation behind her back is potentially believed to have cost her thousands of pounds.
Pictures show that the growers caused extensive damage to the property and devalued it by hacking holes into walls and ceilings for pipes and wiring to grow their illicit crop.
Ms Behrens was a commercial property lawyer for ten years until 2006 before managing her family’s private property portfolio for 16 years, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Since 2015, she has run her own retail firm called RepTail, selling what she describes as the ‘highest quality sports accessories, including luxury foam rollers, massage balls and resistance bands’.
Police had found more than 500 cannabis plants in her house in Derby when they raided it in May, 2019.
Officers were quick to congratulate themselves on the raid at the time by posting messages on social media.
Nazia Rashid Behrens (pictured) was a commercial property lawyer for ten years until 2006
Photos used to advertise the property showed cannabis growing paraphernalia including plant pots and ventilation pipes
A property description on Rightmove boasted the house had five bedrooms and a generous outdoor space
A Facebook post by Derby’s Normanton and Rose Hill police Safer Neighbourhood Team reported the find by joking: ‘Well as the late great Freddie Mercury once sang, another one bites the dust.
‘Officers from Normanton Safer Neighbourhood Team have located yet another cannabis grow with in excess of 500 plants in the Normanton area.
‘We are currently gathering evidence and continuing with our enquiries to identify the offenders. We’ll keep you posted. #upinsmoke.’
The post was accompanied with pictures of a cannabis crop in full leaf in various rooms of the house and ready for harvest.
A property description on Rightmove announced it was being auctioned via Bagshaws Residential Auctions in association with Barnard Marcus Auctions at the DeVere Grand Connaught Rooms in central London.
The sales descriptions boasted that it had five bedrooms, a generous outdoor space, and was less than a mile from Derby train station.
But the pictures showed ventilation pipes and wiring still dangling from the ceilings with colling fans and plant pots, some filled with soil, still scattered around the property.
A virtual tour also showed piles of rubbish stacked to the ceiling in a former bedroom and aluminium foil on the walls to increase the power of grow lights, boosting the cannabis yield.
There were few signs that it was a liveable space other than a small toilet, several discarded mugs and a clothes hanger in the kitchen.
Estate agents Bagshaws Residential described the three-storey home as in need of ‘a full scheme of renovations’.
But the inclusion of cannabis growing equipment in the sales details prompted a string of comments on social media.
One person online commented: ‘Can’t believe the estate agents have uploaded these photos’.
Another said: ‘I’m literally two mins away from that house and I’m baffled how it was used for what it was being next to a primary school.’
A third joked: ‘Some serious indoor gardening going on there,’ with another adding ‘a bargain is a bargain in this economy.’
Nazia Rashid Behrens (pictured) launched a sports and fitness accessories brand in 2016
The house was formerly part of Nazia Rashid Behrens’ property portfolio before being sold at auction
Estate agents used photos of the property showing plant and pots and ventilation systems inside the house
Derbyshire Police discovered a cannabis growing operation inside the property in May 2019 but failed to make any further arrests. These photos were taken during the raid and were not used to advertise the property
Someone else added: ‘It sold for £210k via auction, that surprised me. Thought it’d be more. No doubt it’ll be flipped and back on the market for £800k in a year though.’
It is illegal to grow the Class B in the UK, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
People working on cannabis farms are often the victims of human trafficking and modern slavery.
Property landlords typically have no knowledge of their houses being used for illicit drug growing and are left to pick up the repair bill after police raids.
Derbyshire Police confirmed that a cannabis grow was found at the property in May 2019, but that no arrests have been made in relation to the investigation.
Chris Glenn, divisional managing director for Sequence Auctions which auctioned the house , said: ‘Landlords that have had a difficult experience managing a property may have gone through months or even years trying to reclaim them and will quite often enter them into an auction for an efficient sale.
‘However, following the pandemic the auction process has somewhat changed and many auctions are not back in the room.
‘They have remained largely digital with many investors buying properties online without seeing them.
‘This makes it vital that selling agents ensure the state of repair of the property is transparently shown so buyers can make informed decisions.
‘This is especially true in auctions as the sale is a legally binding exchange, often on the day, compared with a private treaty sale which will take a number of months.’
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