Could That Listing Have Been a Meth Lab?

February 12, 2013

Sellers don’t have to necessarily disclose that the home is a former meth lab. There are no federal rules that require sellers to disclose whether a home was once used as a meth lab, but some individual states do you have disclosure regulations. 

REALTORS® who abide by an industry code of ethics are required to reveal any known material facts but, as an agent, you don’t always know whether a home has been contaminated if it’s not disclosed to you, Walt Molony, spokesperson for the National Association of REALTORS® told CNNMoney. 

So how can buyers know if they’re purchasing a home that may be contaminated with the poisonous substance? CNNMoney offers some things they can do:

  • Check the DEA’s National Clandestine Laboratory Register and click on your state to get a list of known contaminated properties and addresses.
  • Check the property’s deed at the county clerk’s office since some states require that a property be registered with the clerk if it’s discovered by law officers as a meth lab. 
  • Look for signs of meth production, such as items like old cans, bottles, camp stoves, propane tanks, or packages of substances like acetone, muriatic acid, brake cleaner, drain cleaner, paint thinner lying around.
  • Purchase a meth lab kit, which costs around $50, to test for it, or hire a professional to run a test, which can cost around $500 to $700. 

The cost of cleaning up the meth usually falls on the current owner and could run as high as $10,000 or more. 

Source: “How to Spot a Meth Lab,” CNNMoney (Feb. 12, 2013)

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