The Explosion Of Meth In Rental Properties

There has been increasing discussion within the real estate industry and recently in the media about meth in properties, which can impact landlords, buyers, sellers and home owners. Until recently, it was the presence of meth labs in rental properties that were a concern for landlords resulting in tens of thousands of dollars for the clean-up if it was found to be contaminated.

We are now seeing the emergence of properties being contaminated from recreational (meth) ice smoking, which could possibly be the modern-day asbestos explosion. The Australian Crime Commission guidelines deem a property contaminated if the levels are above 0.5 micro grams, which are low in comparison to a meth lab that can be upwards of 60 micro grams. At this stage there is no legislation around enforcing clean ups of recreational smoking.  If a meth lab is identified at the property or the levels are deemed high, the owner of the property does have a liability of cleaning up the property, which is often directed by the police or local council.

There was a recent case in Queensland where a two-bedroom property was contaminated with a cleanup cost of approximately $50,000 due to the smoke/particles attaching to all porous areas such as walls, carpet, window furnishings, bench tops, grouting, etc.  The owner fortunately was covered under their landlord protection insurance for malicious damage.  Albeit, as meth in properties becomes more widely known you could assume that insurance companies will have to address this issue within their policy terms.

A contaminated property can cause the tenants or occupants (especially the elderly and children) to display symptoms of Asthma, ADHD, headaches, dizziness, lack of sleep, nausea and they are suggesting in worst case scenarios cancer.

What does this mean for property owners?

Firstly, when the time comes it is going to be important to determine if the property has been contaminated and if so to what level. We believe it will eventually become an industry standard to have all properties tested prior to a tenant entering a property and when they vacate. We are predicting that a ‘meth cleared’ property will also deter tenants who recreationally smoke as well as the meth lab operators. We know that this information may be alarming to landlords.  However, as your managing agent it is important that we keep you up-to-date. We are currently accessing the best way to manage this, as generalised meth lab testing has been expensive until now with few companies offering the service.

Meth Screen and their testing partners can provide more information and are offering testing from $274 to give property owners peace of mind – 1800 020 348

                    

IMPORTANT:  This is not advice.  Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this newsletter.  Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se.  Every effort is made to ensure the contents are accurate at the time of publication.  Clients should seek their own independent professional advice before making any decision or taking action. We take no responsibility for any subsequent action that may arise from the use of this newsletter. Published by the PPM GROUP - www.ppmgroup.com.au