While some of our clients might have enjoyed the TV series, Breaking Bad, it’s horrifying when you have to clean up after a clandestine drug lab is discovered in your own rental property.
With police in South Australia finding 10 drug laboratories or crops across Adelaide each week, it is not unlikely that this will happen to many landlords at some stage in the life of their investment.
With that in mind, at least landlords now have some set guidelines to follow, when it comes to cleaning up after your property has been abused.
Why it is crucial to clean up after a clandestine drug lab is discovered
Contamination from chemicals used in the drug-making process can often remain present in your property if it has played host to a clandestine drug lab.
These toxic chemicals can pose a serious risk to human and environmental health through the contamination of buildings, furniture, soil, water and air within, or close to, the site of the drug lab.
According to SA Health, contamination can remain for many years if left untreated.
In 2014-15, 744 clandestine drug laboratories were reported across Australia, 67 of which were found across a variety of locations in South Australia.
What are the new guidelines?
The South Australian Government has released a policy and guidelines to manage the risks of drug labs to the community and to those who dwell in properties where labs have operated.
SA Health Director Health Protection Dr Chris Lease says, “a variety of chemicals and toxins are involved in the drug making process and residual contamination, spillage of chemicals and poor waste disposal practices can create ongoing health and environmental risks if they are not properly dealt with.
“We will be working with public health authorities to implement these new processes to ensure the proper management of clandestine drug labs across the state.
“Better information will also be provided to owners of properties which have been used as a clandestine drug laboratory to guide them through the process of assessment and remediation.”
What you should do next
According to SA Health, illegal drug manufacturing can cause considerable damage to property’s fixtures and fittings.
Our suggestion would be to review your landlord insurance policy to make sure you are protected from the costs associated with remediating a property that has housed a clandestine drug lab.