Give homes a clean bill of health
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. gov.au.
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.