Meth Homes A Growing Hazard – There’s a growing hazard among landlords, tenants, and home buyers who must be aware of the potential dangers in a property that once was set up as a meth lab. Toxic chemicals and residue can stay in the property for years if it is not properly remediated with a hazmat style clean up that can cost the owner thousands.
Some reports suggest that it’s a growing real estate epidemic that has caused health problems for future tenants. Landlords should be careful when they rent to tenants who claim they are new to the area and don’t have a bank account yet. If they are paying cash, that should set off some red flags.
Accepting the cash might seem tempting at first, but it can cause a landlord further troubles down the road. It’s important to verify all credit references and do a complete background check. A landlord can charge the tenant for these fees.
“The meth lab home problem is only going to grow,” said Dawn Turner, who started a Web site, www.methlabhomes.com, after her son lost thousands of dollars when he bought a foreclosed home in Sweetwater, Tenn., that turned out to be contaminated. Because less is known about the history of foreclosed houses, Turner said, “as foreclosures rise, so will the number of new meth lab home owners.”
Home buyers should also be very careful on foreclosures or short sales. If the property has a shady past, you may want to do a complete inspection for toxic chemicals. The bank (or seller) has no obligation to disclose anything to you.
Living in a former meth lab that hasn’t been properly remediated can cause serious health problems for people and pets. Symptoms can take five years after moving in. Some people that have developed migraines and kidney ailments in homes that were used as a meth lab.
Here’s the real kicker: If you buy a house and find contamination, it’s up to you to spend the money, not the previous owner. This could cost $30,000 by renovating walls, such as replacing sheet rock in the walls and at times, wooden studs, in order to do a cleanup.
In most cases, the lab is usually in the kitchen, which means you can say goodbye to all those kitchen cabinets, sink, countertops, and sometimes the flooring.
This is why you need to do your homework before buying a home or renting to a tenant because there is a growing hazard in most states in the south.