Many cities around the country are seeing a rise in the production of methamphetamine making meth labs a big concern for rental homeowners. This is why it is so important to do rigorous tenant screening. Without an effective tenant screening, you could find yourself with huge problems. Tenant screening is one of the most important parts of the leasing process. No one wants to see their investment property converted into a meth lab. Illegal drug manufacturing can cause thousands of dollars worth of damages, let alone the physical dangers and health issues.
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system. It is also known as meth, blue, ice, and crystal. Meth is relatively inexpensive and easy to make. This is why it is becoming a common activity for people who want to make fast money. A rented apartment or house is the perfect place to set up a meth lab. Unfortunately, meth labs have been found in about every city, so don’t think that your city is the exception. The toxic waste and residue from a meth lab contaminates all surfaces and surroundings including walls, ceilings, carpet, floors, appliances, and ventilation system with harmful fumes and highly explosive chemical compounds which are very difficult to remove.
As a rental owner, you need to be aware of the impact of a meth lab in your property. Cleaning up after a meth lab is your responsibility, whether or not the tenant making meth was caught and convicted. It can be a real nightmare and it is certainly not cheap. Since we are dealing with deadly chemical residues, a thorough cleaning is needed and it has to be done by a specialist. Meth labs are sites for hazardous waste and the property should only be entered by professionals who know how to deal with them. Many states impose specific procedures to clean. Some states also require landlords to disclose whether or not a rental property has been the site of previous meth contamination, so you need to do your research.
Signs of a meth lab:
- Unusual odors (which may resemble nail polish remover, ammonia & chlorine)
- Increases in utility usage
- Covered windows
- Strange modifications to the ventilation
- Dead landscaping
- Suspicious activity
- Frequent visitors with short stays
- The resident isn’t the tenant who signed the lease
- Above average amount of trash
The best way to avoid getting your house turned into a meth lab is having an effective tenant screening process. Self-managed property owners may be more at risk because they don’t have the same experience or resources to conduct thorough screening. If you suspect meth activity, do not confront your tenant. Call the police right away. At House Match Property Management we conduct exhaustive screening to minimize the risk of illegal activities like a meth lab on your property.