Real Estate Sales Agents and Rental Agents need to be aware of the importance of educating themselves on dangers and financial impacts of meth labs in properties. Across Australia, especially regional areas, there has been a significant increase in the production and use of methamphetamine. Meth is a dangerous and highly addictive drug that has caused a substantial social and financial problem in Australia. In a report published by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre the use of methamphetamine has jumped by 52 per cent in the past 10 years.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that can be ‘ccoked’ in makeshift laboratories that can be set up with alarming ease utilising common household items. Meth is relatively inexpensive and easy to make, so it is a common activity for those looking to make some fast money. Meth labs have been discovered in just about every city and town across Australia. If you think your city is an exception, you are probably wrong. As a landlord, you need to become educated on the impact of meth labs in rental properties.
Producing methamphetamine requires minimal training and experience, with most of the items required for a basic ‘shake-and-bake’ found in most households. Found in almost any location, meth labs have been found and seized across Australia in houses, apartments, vehicles, rental storage units and motorhomes.
A meth lab in a rental property can be a landlord’s worst nightmare; from the illegal activity to the destruction of the property to the immense cost of clean-up. The government monitors the clean-up process for properties with former meth labs, so until a property gets a clean bill of health (often several months later), the landlord cannot rent it out, resulting in more lost income.
Meth labs are frequently set up in all kinds of spaces, such as storage sheds, campgrounds, motel rooms, vacant buildings, garages and rental homes and apartments. The process of cooking meth leaves a toxic residue that contaminates walls, ceilings, furniture, and even the soil. These toxins can have significant health effects on anyone else who is exposed for the short term and the long term.
Typical primary areas of contamination include:
Cooking areas: Gross contamination in these areas is always evident and can be caused by spills, fumes, explosions and gasses created during the cooking process.
Disposal areas: Anywhere chemicals, by-products or materials used to manufacture methamphetamine are disposed of including toilets, sinks, drains, vents, chimney flumes, soil, water and groundwater including supplies, bins and septic systems.
Storage areas: Meth Lab decontamination will also need to occur in areas the cook meth and drugs have been stored. Leaks, spills and open containers all have the possibility of cause contamination
Secondary areas of a meth lab contamination includes, but is not limited to:
Locations adjacent, or near, to any primary area including hallways or high traffic areas
Common areas in multiple dwelling structures and adjacent apartment including floors, walls, ceilings, carpeting, light fixtures, draperies and other textile products
Common ventilation or plumbing systems in hotels and multiple dwellings
Preventing Meth Labs in Rental Properties
With the significant financial impact of discovering a meth lab in their rental property, many landlords are desperate to figure out ways to prevent tenants from ever considering it. There are three things landlords can do to minimize the likelihood of residents bringing in a meth lab.
Conduct Good Tenant Screening. Checking out a tenant’s past history is one of the best ways to see what they will be like in a new place. Good tenant screening means calling previous landlords and verifying that they are legitimate, checking employment references, verifying income and looking at criminal history. While a clean background check doesn’t guarantee anything, it reduces the odds significantly.
Stay Involved. It’s easiest to set up meth labs in rental properties where the landlord doesn’t engage with the property often. Landlords should include regular inspections in the lease agreement if their state allows it, and make the tenant aware that they will be on hand to do repairs and other regular maintenance as needed. Landlords that don’t get involved in their property make it easy for meth labs to thrive. Tenants are less likely to participate in illegal activities in a rental property if they think they can be discovered at any time.
Be Observant. Landlords who get to the property for repairs or maintenance should pay attention to any suspicious activity. Landlords can also get to know the neighbours and leave a business card, asking them to call if anything suspicious is going on at the rental property. Having lots of eyes and ears on the rental property can discourage tenants who may consider setting up a meth lab there.
Do you think your Rental Property may have been used to manufacture or cook Meth – Street names: Ice, Crystal, Glass.
Over 60% of Clandestine Methamphetamine Drug Labs are found in rental properties: houses, units, farms, sheds and even in the back of car boots.
Meth Lab Cleaners Australia offer an inexpensive, on the spot test for meth residue. With one meth testing kit you can test multiple locations using the swabs provided.
Each DIY Home Meth test kit is available for $165 and includes Express postage. Keep in mind these are meth testing kits are design to provide an indicative result. If the colour changes to purple, you have a positive to Methamphetamine.
To order your Meth Testing Kit, please call Meth Lab Cleaners Australia on: 1300 246 429