Methamphetamine and Meth Labs
How do I know if my house was used as a meth lab?
Tips for Landlords
More information: Food, Beverage, and Lodging Establishments
Meth labs can be set up out-of-doors or in homes, vehicles, motels, and abandoned buildings. Meth making leaves behind chemical residues that can contaminate these places where the meth is 'cooked'. The cooking process is dangerous, and the contamination left behind can be harmful to health.
Complete cleanup of the former labs is necessary before anyone uses the property. It is generally not considered safe for property owners to clean meth lab sites on their own. This work should be done by experienced hazardous materials (HazMat) contractors.
According to state law, the sellers of a property are required to disclose the fact that if a property has been affected in a way that may interfere with the "use or enjoyment of the property." Some counties in Minnesota have created local ordinances that require disclosure of meth labs to buyers or renters..
How do I know if my house was formerly used as a meth lab?
If you are currently a property owner or want to buy property, there are several things you can do to find out if the property was formerly used for clandestine drug lab purposes.
- Talk to your neighbors. They can sometimes provide an account of the history of the home and the nature of the previous occupants. Ask about any suspicious activity, traffic, smells, or excessive trash that was noticed around the home.
- Call your local police department or county sheriff to find out if there is a record of any illegal drug lab activity.
- Look for signs inside and outside of the home. Some signs that may indicate evidence of a former drug lab include:
- dark stains from chemicals in the bathtubs, sinks, or toilets, or on walls
- signs of chemical burns or spills
- visible areas in the yard where chemicals have been dumped
- packaging or containers from chemicals or cold medicine
- burn piles in the yard with signs of meth ingredients
- dead or dying vegetation
- chemical (solvent, ammonia) odors
Tips for Landlords
In order to avoid renting to those who make meth, take the following steps:
- Make sure rental applicants complete rental application
- Conduct a thorough background check of the applicant, including criminal background check
- Be sure to personally meet each rental applicant and require picture identification
- Take note of any suspicious appearances or behaviors of the applicant
- Require a lease
- Obtain a damage deposit
- Look around your property regularly, taking note of any signs of a meth lab or other illegal activity
- Announce your intention to visit the property regularly
- Ask neighbors help in monitoring property
**If you suspect a meth lab on your property, contact local law enforcement immediately. Do not enter an area that you think might be a meth lab.