A LETTING agent owner discovered a cannabis farm worth around £30,000 had been growing in one of his landlord's flats.

Channel 5's 'Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords' went behind the scenes into the life of private renting once again at Paul Ainsworth-Lord's Darwen-based business.

The programme showed Mr Ainsworth-Lord trying to track down tenant Dermott Donegan, who had not paid rent in four months and owed around £3,000.

After several attempts to get hold of Mr Donegan and being told by his guarantor he would straighten his account, Mr Ainsworth-Lord visited the house.

As he believed the house in Darwen was abandoned, Mr Ainsworth-Lord was entitled to enter the house, but discovered the locks had been not only changed, but tampered with.

With the help of a locksmith, Mr Ainsworth-Lord entered the house and found hard-drug paraphernalia on the coffee table in the living room.

Mr Ainsworth-Lord also found fresh blood stains in one of the bedroom and a large cannabis set up in the other room.

Dozens of plants, as well as growing equipment, were found.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Mr Ainsworth said: "When we walked into the house I was dreading what was going to come next.

"When we saw the heroin on the coffee table we realised we could be dealing with some potentially dangerous people.

"I have never caught a drugs den red-handed like that before.

"One of the rooms had already been cultivated but police thought there was around £30,000 worth of cannabis ready to be cultivated."

Mr Donegan was arrested by police after he was found at his parents home, however he denied responsibility and said the plants were the work of a sub-tenant.

The house was subsequently handed back to the landlord after Mr Donegan handed over the keys.

Mr Ainsworth-Lord said specialist cleaners were called in to restore the house, as well as replace the carpets and damaged wallpaper.

Total costs, including the unpaid rent, have risen to £5,500.

On the show, the landlord said: "I did not expect to see it on a street in Darwen, in my property, that's the shocking thing.

"It's a professional job, they might have been doing it for as long as they've been here."