Meth use hits home

Joondalup Times - - FRONT PAGE - Lau­ren Pilat

CON­TAM­I­NA­TION risks as­so­ci­ated with clan­des­tine drug labs and the use of meth is an is­sue in both rented and owned prop­er­ties, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties.

As­sis­tant direc­tor gen­eral hous­ing Greg Cash said re­cent re­search showed health risks were found at prop­er­ties where meth was man­u­fac­tured as well as smoked.

Mr Cash said once the depart­ment was made aware that a public hous­ing prop­erty was con­tam­i­nated by the man­u­fac­tur­ing or use of the drug, it took “full re­spon­si­bil­ity for re­me­di­a­tion and test­ing” to re­turn the prop­erty to a clean and safe liv­ing stan­dard.

“Prop­er­ties are cleaned in ac­cor­dance with state and na­tional re­me­di­a­tion guide­lines,” he said.

“Where ap­pro­pri­ate, the depart­ment will charge the costs as­so­ci­ated with re­me­di­a­tion and test­ing to the ten­ant re­spon­si­ble.”

REIWA chief ex­ec­u­tive Neville Pozzi said there was no of­fi­cial leg­is­la­tion ad­vis­ing agents how to deal with meth man­u­fac­tur­ing and use in pri­vate houses for sale or lease, but prop­erty man­agers were made aware of the is­sue as part of manda­tory train­ing.

Mr Pozzi said REIWA agents gen­er­ally be­came aware of a meth is­sue with a prop­erty if the seller or land­lord told them.

“The seller-land­lord has a le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity to dis­close this in­for­ma­tion if they are aware of this,” he said.

“If an agent is made aware by the seller or land­lord of meth con­tam­i­na­tion on a prop­erty, this would be con­sid­ered a ‘ma­te­rial fact’ and the agent is sub­se­quently re­quired to in­form in­ter­ested buy­ers and ten­ants.”

If prospec­tive buy­ers and ten­ants sus­pect the prop­erty has been used to man­u­fac­ture or use meth, Mr Pozzi said they had the right to make it a con­di­tion of the con­tract or ap­pli­ca­tion that the prop­erty was tested and cleaned.

“If they de­cided to move for­ward with test­ing, the par­ties to the agree­ment would then need to de­ter­mine who would pay for the re­port,” he said.

“REIWA ad­vises any home buy­ers or ten­ants who have sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns about meth use to in­ves­ti­gate the is­sue.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Steve Ebbs, from Meth Screen, screens for meth in a kitchen.

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