The silent enemy of every investor

The threat of methamphetamine poisoning through the use by others of the drug or by manufacturing is a real risk for Australian property owners.  It is a big problem in New Zealand and one that the Australian property community is beginning to realise will have an impact here.   How should you be preparing for it and how will it impact us.  We talk to Cathie Crampton about it.

Manufacture of drugs in rentals and detecting them
Mentor Cathie Crampton

  • You need to develop a policy
  • Be aware when you are inspecting
  • Seek professional advice and ask for help
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2 Comments
  • Gary
    Posted at 09:41h, 16 September Reply

    Is there a list of insurers that cover meth lab surveys and damage. Since your last presentation I had occasion to speak with both my property manager and tenant insurer. Bit of a caught in headlight moment and insurer said not covered. Insurer said don’t cover illegal activities. I said should consider as they do cover other illegal activities, e.g. malicious damage, non payment of rent etc. etc.

    • Kevin
      Posted at 08:22h, 19 September Reply

      Thanks Gary. I will look into it.
      In the mean time here is a comment that might help from Martin who responded to an interview I did with Conveyancer Garth Brown. I have also given you a link to the interview:

      https://realestatetalk.com.au/what-are-your-tenants-really-up-to/

      Hi Kevin & Garth.
      This is a very topical subject in real estate and property management at the moment. In fact, I’ve been in discussion with several large property management companies in SE Queensland about how to tackle the tricky issue of tenants using or cooking meth in their client’s properties.
      Firstly, yes there are tell-tale signs of meth use but this is worst case scenario stuff. In most cases there are no signs and since a landlord has to give notice of an inspection, the tenant has time to do a clean up if there is any obvious mess.
      Secondly, the device you mention from IPSM will detect meth if it’s being used but what about if the contamination is already there from previous tenants or before installing such a device. In fact, how would you know if a property is contaminated before you committed to buying it?
      Surface drug testing is one of the answers. Previously, expensive lab testing was required and once done, you had to wait a week for results. And a simple test costs over $200.
      At Narcotect, we have inexpensive surface kits for less than $20. You’ll need 3 or 4 per average house but they’ll give you a good indication of whether drug residue is present and you get the result in seconds.
      The other unique feature of our product is that it not only detects meth but also other illegal drugs including ice, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and opiates, as well as several of the pre-cursor ingredients used in the manufacture of meth. More details can be found on our website drugdetectionkits.com.au
      If a landlord isn’t testing at the start and end of a tenancy at the very least, they open themselves up to a world of cost and heartache. Ideally, random testing should also be conducted throughout the tenancy as a further deterrent to using drugs in the house.
      Garth, perhaps, as someone who specialises in property conveyancing, it would be worthwhile recommending clients’ conduct a surface drug test on a property as part of their pre-purchase due diligence.
      I hope that this is of use to your readers. Please feel free to contact me if you would like any further information.

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