WA’s meth use hits homes as contamination risks found

Stock image.
Stock image.

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.”

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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.”

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