Is Your Investment Property Being Used As A Meth Lab?

I was asked a question recently from a journalist looking to do a story “Trever, how does meth labs affect the rental industry”.

It would seem that rental properties being used as makeshift meth labs are becoming more common and both tenants and landlords are having to deal with the ramifications. In QLD alone police are uncovering at least one lab a day in suburban rental properties.

So, what are they and how do you look for them?

Meth labs are properties being used to manufacture illegal drugs unknowingly to the landlords. Modifications are usually made to the property and they are often left inhabitable due to drug residue left behind.

Here are some tell-tale signs your rental property is used being used as a drug lab:

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  • Does the tenant pay only in cash?
  • Is there a large supply of glass jars and stainless/steel bowls in the kitchen, and large quantities of rubber gloves?
  • Have light bulbs been removed? Meth lab tenants may take them out to avoid the risk of a spark causing an explosion
  • Are curtains always drawn or windows blacked out?
  • Are there excessive quantities of cold and flu tablets stored in the bathroom cupboards?
  • Check for paint thinner, camp stoves and manure in the garage.
  • Are the walls discoloured? Is there rust on light fittings or door knobs?
  • Have the smoke detectors been turned off?
  • Have false walls been created?

The risk to your investment can be significant. The property will be unusable until the Health Department is called in to do a health check. And your usual cleaner can’t touch the mess – you’ll need specialist cleaners to clear up chemical or hazardous materials. In extreme cases, a serious explosion could occur in your property, resulting in significant damage and risk to life.

Whilst not common it is wise to keep vigilant or employ an agent who understands what to look for and how to stop it before it happens.

Trever Molenaar
Trever has worked in the industry selling property for over two decades. This lifelong profession has enabled him to master the art of negotiation. Trever’s own personal values relate through to his professional life 
  • The client comes first every time 
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Molenaar x McNeice
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