Methamphetamine Inspections

Methamphetamine (meth) contamination in living environments is a contemporary problem that is not going to go away. Australia has the highest number of meth users per capita in the English-speaking world, and that number is now three times higher than it was in 2011. In NSW, the number of meth labs has doubled over the past six years.

You may not realise it, but the biggest threat to rental properties is not meth labs, it is meth users. Smoking meth inside regularly can contaminate a home and regular smoking of the drug can return contamination readings as high as those produced by a meth lab.

Who should have a Methamphetamine Inspection?

1. Screening as part of your Pre-Purchase Building Inspection

For home buyers there is nothing unusual about organising a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection on a potential property purchase. For smart buyers, a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection is a no brainer, part of the home buying journey.

2. Regular screening for rental properties

We recommend rental properties are screened regularly for meth residue. Not only does it ensure early detection, when remediation is less likely to be expensive, it also deters tenants from using or making meth in your property.

3. Screening between tenants

There have been cases recently where tenants have sued landlords, because health problems led to discovery of meth residue in the homes they were renting. Screening for meth residue between tenancies ensures you are living up to your responsibility to provide a home that is fit for purpose.

We are not linked to any remediation companies, so we can provide an unbiased assessment of your property. After samples are correctly taken, analysis is conducted at a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) laboratory.

Meth residue screening establishes meth use by tenants. Regular testing at tenancy change provides a deterrent to meth use and detects contamination problems early, when they are easier to fix.

Legal Risks

As a property owner or manager, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring a property is safe for habitation. Australian laws (EPA and local government) say that meth contamination above 0.5 micrograms in a space 100cm square (0.5?g/100cm²) is not acceptable. Landlords face lawsuits from tenants moving into an already-contaminated property, and adjoining neighbours may also seek legal advice.

Financial Risks

Contamination levels greater than 0.5?g (micrograms)/100cm² require a property to be remediated. Decontamination can require treating or ripping out carpet, curtains, wall linings, ceilings, electrical wiring, air conditioners, heating and insulation. Insurance cover is available, but it usually sets a cover limit (i.e. $30,000) and requires a substantial excess payment.

Discovering contamination as early as possible makes remediation less expensive. It also means meth-using tenants can be evicted before contamination levels increase any further.

Health Risks

While meth residue is odourless and invisible, exposure can cause a wide range of health problems for the property’s occupants, including:

  • Respiratory problems – especially for those suffering from asthma
  • Headaches
  • Behaviour problems in young children
  • Sleep pattern changes in children
  • Increased susceptibility to illness
  • Eye and skin irritation

The Solution

Using a laboratory-based screening method we can validate if the property you are about to purchase is safe & clean from meth contamination

The link below shows the effect of Meth on some Australian residences.

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