As a landlord, your properties are at high risk for meth contamination. Many meth cooks do not take the time, money, or effort to purchase a long-term property because the lasting effects of meth making will ruin it. Therefore, landlords are the ones at risk because most the time drug producers will rent. As a landlord, you need to be aware that you are at risk and secondly how to reduce your risk. You’ll find that there are many steps you can take to greatly decrease the odds this will happen. With the proper understanding, you as a landlord can be able to identify the signs of a drug abuser and prevent them from renting or leasing your property. If they happen to slip through the cracks, you will also need to know your responsibility as a landlord. Being a landlord can be a risky business but with this “Landlord’s Guide,” you will have the know how to keep your property and yourself safe from meth contamination.
Who’s Your Prospective Tenant?
When you are leasing your property, it is important to know who your tenant is and to know about them. Do your research as a property owner to find out if your possible new tenant has had any drug-related instances in the past. Always run a background check. Background checks will be able to tell you about his prior rental history which can lead you to the information you need. Pull criminal records as well. Do they have one? Are the offenses drug related? If so this tenant may become a liability. Doing research beforehand can save you loads of trouble in the long run.
Signs Your Tenant May be Making Meth.
If you already have a tenant that you are suspicious of, start with the steps above. Run a background check and check for a record. From there look for signs. Are their complaints from neighbors? Are neighbors smelling odd odors or noticing odd happenings at the rental property? Is the tenant up at all hours of the night? Are his windows covered with foil so you cannot see inside? Maybe it is less subtle like they pay the rent but don’t have a job. Is there a lot of foot traffic to the property? Has the tenant’s behavior changed – are they reclusive but always have people over? These are all signs that they may be producing meth in the property and it is time for you to act. Calling the local authorities to have them check on the property is always a good, safe first step. If nothing is there no harm, no foul, but If the property is contaminated it is important you keep your distance.
What to Do If Your Property is Busted.
There are a few things to know if your tenant is busted for meth production. Meth labs are the equivalent of a chemical dumping ground and can cause danger to anyone who enters – cleanup is not a job you can do. Follow these five easy steps if the property is busted for drug production.
- Contact a professional to have the property tested.
If methamphetamine or chemicals used to produce it met your property, it is important to know what the levels of contamination are and only a professional can tell you that.
- Seal the house up and do not let anyone in it other than meth lab contractors and law enforcement.
As previously stated, meth is dangerous. Just being inside the property can cause long-term health concerns. If the property is contaminated, you will need to hire professionals to have it decontaminated. While waiting for test results, DO NOT go inside and do not let any unauthorized personnel inside. It is dangerous.
- Contact your home owner’s insurance and file a claim to get it covered.
Despite what you may think, your home owner’s insurance will cover meth lab cleanup and decontamination. In some cases, you may need to pursue your tenant for some of the costs.
- Once results come back positive have the house decontaminated.
If the test is positive it means that there is meth contamination in the home. A professional must be contacted to clean up. Make sure you check their credentials and know what your state’s acceptable levels of meth residue are.
- Do a formal eviction on the tenant(s), and repair the house after the results come back negative.
At this point, the tenant will need to be evicted. Make sure to follow proper channels to protect yourself. Furthermore, the property will need to retested until the levels of residue are safe per your state guidelines.
As a landlord, protecting yourself against meth contamination begins with vetting your tenant. Make sure to do all you can beforehand to ensure your property and yourself remains safe. Concerns? Contact your local law enforcement with questions about your current tenants and suspicious activity. Remember to keep yourself safe.