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Meth Lab Clean-Up Program - California DTSC

Meth Contaminated Property

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Methamphetamine Lab

California Real Estate (Property) law holds property owners and landlords responsible for providing notification to tenants and future owners of any hazards existing on a property offered for lease or sale. One of these hazards can be chemical contamination due to a clandestine Methamphetamine (Meth) laboratory.  Clandestine drug laboratories can be found in all sections of San Diego County, from high density residential neighborhoods to sparsely populated rural areas. Effective January 1, 2006, a new law that deals with Meth labs went into effect. The Methamphetamine Contaminated Property Act of 2005 requires the clean up of the property so it can be safe for occupancy and imposes fines on the seller of a residential property who fails to disclose information about contamination resulting from a Meth lab. 

This law also requires the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) to respond to complaints of potentially contaminated property. Response includes evaluating the property, testing for contamination, notifying and posting of warning notices, issuing orders prohibiting occupancy if the site is not safe, as well as overseeing the ultimate return of the property to a safe environment. Property owners are responsible for all the costs that may be associated with these actions.

Below are some interesting facts regarding clean up of Meth sites and useful advice for landlords & property owners

Did you know that...
 What are the costs?

  • Property owners are responsible for decontamination costs?
  • 50% of residential drug labs are found on rental property?
  • Decontamination costs
    thousands of dollars
 

When drug criminals operate out of rental property, owners pay a high price including:

  • Civil Penalties
  • Property damage 
  • Decline in property values
  • Dangerous and/or threatening tenants
  • Resentful and angry neighbors
  • Loss of valued tenant

By making small changes you can avoid big problems

At the time of rental application Visit Property often and 
be aware of lab indicators


  • Ensure application is complete
  • Conduct background checks and verify:
    - Rental history
    - Credit report
    - Employment history
    - Criminal background
  • Meet every adult and require picture identification
  • Be aware of renter's appearance and behaviors
 
  • Blackened windows, drawn curtains
  • Frequent visitors at all hours
  • Paranoid, odd behavior of tenants
  • Extensive security 
  • Excessive garbage specific to Methamphetamine (Meth) manufacturing
  • Chemical odor
Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your neighborhood If you discover or suspect a drug lab
  • Keep in contact with neighbors
  • Attend drug lab awareness programs
  • Develop a "Neighborhood Watch" group in your community
 
  • Do not touch anything
  • Leave the area immediately
  • Call local Law Enforcement or Anonymous Meth Hotline (1-888-NO-2-METH)

Site Assessment and Mitigation Home Page

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