Give homes a clean bill of health

Cockburn Gazette - - RESIDENTIA­L -

with Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard CON­SUMER Pro­tec­tion is aware that con­tam­i­na­tion or dam­age to homes from il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­ity is a worry for ten­ants, own­ers and prop­erty in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als.

But how do you iden­tify past pro­duc­tion, or smok­ing, of meth, heroin or cannabis at a prop­erty and whether there are po­ten­tial health risks as a re­sult?

We’ve been working with WA’s De­part­ment of Health (DOH) on a guide about this is­sue, fo­cus­ing on clan­des­tine lab­o­ra­to­ries, smoke houses and cannabis grow houses.

DOH say po­lice tell them when drug prop­er­ties are dis­rupted and any pub­lic health risk in­for­ma­tion is for­warded to the lo­cal govern­ment author­ity with ad­vice to man­age pos­si­ble prop­erty con­tam­i­na­tion.

Un­less a prop­erty has been used to man­u­fac­ture drugs, the com­mon view is that a thor­ough clean is of­ten all that is re­quired.

There’s no need for rou­tine test­ing be­tween oc­cu­pan­cies but if you have ev­i­dence test­ing is war­ranted, only use DOH-ac­cred­ited foren­sic com­pa­nies, listed at www.healthywa.wa.

Home sell­ers, real estate agents and pri­vate land­lords will nat­u­rally have le­gal obli­ga­tions to en­sure a prop­erty is safe and clean, so own­ers may wish to con­sider pre­cau­tion­ary clean­ing or test­ing.

Real estate agents should use due care and skill to as­cer­tain facts about a home. Clear ev­i­dence should be dis­closed to a buyer or tenant as would be re­quired un­der the in­dus­try code of con­duct.

Own­ers who know of pre­vi­ous se­ri­ous drug use and man­u­fac­tur­ing at a home should tell prospec­tive ten­ants, or their real estate agent if they’re go­ing to sell the prop­erty.

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