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Meth Labs and Meth Testing to become “normal” in residential rental properties?

Seaside Asset Management Group Sep 4, 2017 0 Comments

This is an upcoming concern for all property managers and their directors- Methamphetamine production has sky rocketed in the last few years, more often than not properties are leased by “tenants” for the pure purpose of having somewhere to “cook” and then disappear without a trace. Which leaves owners with a clean-up bill in excess of $70,000 but can be as high as needing to demolish and rebuild.

This is more common than many home owners think, prior to launching my own property management agency, whilst working as an agent’s representative I have dealt with 3 separate drug houses all within 20 kms of Frankston.

Both in Australia and New Zealand there is some serious discussions currently underway for compulsory methamphetamine testing of rental properties between tenancies due to the serious health effects if gone undetected. But who should be liable for this, the outgoing tenant or the owner?

You may have read in the paper mid last year the 6-year-old boy who was found to have the same levels of methamphetamine in his system as an adult drug abuser, after his family unknowingly purchased a home that had been used as an ice drug lab. Shocking, isn’t it?

In this particular case, the family are now taking legal action against the local council- as the home owners allege that the council did not reveal that the previous owners had been ordered to clean up after the police found drug making equipment. Tests had been conducted on the property and it was found that the home had readings up to 40 times over the acceptable level. But what is an acceptable level?

Making or smoking methamphetamine leaves behind residues that seep into plasterboard, carpets, curtains, furnishing, chipboard and home contents- Decontamination can require ripping out carpets, curtains, plaster boards, ceiling, electrical wiring, air-conditioners, heating units, insulation and all contents- this is at a minimum. If you haven’t already, now may be a time to contact your landlord insurers to ensure that you are fully covered for these types of incidents.

If gone undetected professionals have advised the symptoms of exposure can include, disrupted sleep, vivid dreams, anxiety, respiratory problems, an asthma-like wheeze and rashes.

I find it un-nerving that these are the types of incidents are now becoming a reality in our lives, what are your thoughts on this?


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