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Meth – What is it?

Methamphetamine or Meth (ice, chalk, glass, P etc), is a highly addictive chemical-based stimulant that affects the central nervous system. In non-prescribed doses, Meth causes a very high stimulant level to the brain with adverse effects on the body, including appetite suppression, increased physical activity and talkativeness and a strong sense of euphoria. Meth is a poison that acts firstly as a stimulant then systematically starts to destroy the body.

Did you know?

Did you know Meth use in Australia in the highest in the developed English-speaking world (#2 in the world overall) and it’s on the rise? Meth use now, is 3 times higher than usage in 2011.
Victoria alone consumes more than 2000 Kilograms per year.

The biggest problem with residential property, is not the properties being used as drug labs for manufacture of Meth, but personal usage in these properties. Due to the ever-increasing use of the drug, some properties can return readings similar to that of a drug lab itself.

How does it harm your tenants?

Meth is a synthetic, man-made chemical-based drug, manufactured from poisonous chemicals and additives including battery acid, drain cleaner and antifreeze to name a few. Once the ingredients have been turned into Meth, a user will commonly smoke the poisonous and potentially deadly cocktail. The smoke produced from this process is not only harmful to the user but will linger in the property for many years to come by penetrating into any porous material including paint, plaster, wood, carpet, furniture, air conditioning systems and heating/cooling vents etc.

Due to the extreme level of toxins, once it has been absorbed into furnishings within a property, it may take as long as 200 years to break down, in the meantime creating a poisoned environment for any human to reside within.

Common health issues caused by exposure to meth residue in a dwelling may include:

  • Respiratory problems among children and asthmatics
  • Disrupted sleep patterns amongst children
  • Changed behavioral patterns in children
  • General higher susceptibility to illness
  • Irritation to skin and eyes

Young children are particularly susceptible to the health effects of meth residue exposure.

For rental properties this creates risks for owners/Landlords to ensure a safe and livable property for occupants/tenants is provided. Poisoning from Meth residue could create litigation claims against property managers/property owners/landlords, from tenants suffering health issues as a result of being poisoned. In addition, decontamination works may not be covered by insurance companies and can cost over $30000, depending on the extent of contamination.

What can I do?

Whilst it has been established that the problem is not so much Meth Labs, its but Meth users, the best practice has rental properties formally tested to ensure they are a clean and habitable place of residence.
The easiest and most cost-effective way for this to be done is to have a Meth screen sampling test conducted. This immediately confirms if the dwelling is a “clean” environment. The preference is for this test to be completed or at the end of each tenancy to be able to pin point if a tenant is a user and a direction for remediation to occur if testing proves positive.

Smarthouse offers a concise Base Composite Meth Screening service to ascertain if Meth is present in a property. This test determines if the level exceeds the national acceptable standard of a maximum of 0.5μg/100cm².

In the event the result indicates higher than acceptable levels, in depth room sampling is required. As usual, Smarthouse will notify you if this is the case.

All Smarthouse service Technicians are trained to the highest possible level of competency with results available within just a few days from samples being taken.

Protect your property and cover your obligation to provide a safe place to live.

For $299 at the change of each tenancy, your property will receive up to 25 test points with comprehensive reporting provided after each inspection.