There is a very real issue that’s affecting the health of tenants and contaminating homes in Australia to the point where it can cost a landlord tens of thousands of dollars to remediate. The issue is methamphetamine contamination caused, not only by undetected meth labs, but also the smoking of crystal meth inside residential properties.
In Australia, correct protocol dictates every time a meth lab is found by police, the property owner and the local council is contacted. The real story is that the in most cases, councils have done nothing to ensure toxic premises are registered and properly decontaminated, compromising the health and safety of all future occupants. It has been suggested that there are thousands and thousands of people living in properties contaminated by methamphetamine, getting sick and they don’t know why because the councils have done nothing to remediate the property.
The Australian Government provides guidelines for cleaning former labs but does not mandate that homeowners use specialist cleaners or prove a property has been fully decontaminated.
Australian Government and Councils are Falling Behind on Meth Testing Properties
In New Zealand, approximately 80% of homes testing positive to meth contamination are contaminated by users smoking crystal meth and 50% of all NZ Government rentals that have been tested for contamination have returned a positive test with close to 400 NZ Government rental properties tagged uninhabitable due to meth contamination.
It is estimated that only 1 in 10 meth contaminated properties in Australia have been found where the majority of the 9 undetected Meth Labs, when found by the property owners, are given a quick clean and redecorated so they look clean and tidy for any new tenant or purchaser.
Who is Responsible for Ensuring a Property is Safe for Habitation?
The property owner is ultimately responsible to ensure a premise is safe for habitation, after the discovery of a meth contamination above 0.5 micrograms per 100cm2, under Australian Laws (EPA & Local Govt). Where a test reveals contamination above 0.5 μg/100cm2 the Appropriate Authority should issue a Pollution Control/Prohibition Order or other Environmental Order against the property (and owner).
Remediation cleaning will then be required to remove hazardous levels of methamphetamine, after which an independent test is then completed to confirm if remediation has been successful.
DIY Meth Testing Kits Can Save You Money and Heartache
You only have to read the latest news stories to understand how this drug is causing harm throughout the community. If you suspect that a home you are planning to buy or rent may be contaminated by ice, or you suspect that your tenants may be using drugs in your property, carry out a surface test and find out before it’s too late. Meth Testing Kits should be used as a pre-purchase tool when buying a new home or investment property, between tenancies to ensure there is no methamphetamine contamination that might harm your next tenant or their family. Remember it’s your duty of care when leasing or selling your property to ensure it is safe for habitation.