It’s not all about Meth in rental properties

There has been so much in the media in recent months that it seems that people have forgotten about other drugs.

There is no doubt that there should be a zero tolerance in regards to all drugs- and that drug use should be clearly stated as a breach in your tenancy agreement.

Landlords are often unaware of the significant risks that drugs can create in their rental properties. Not only do drugs put the health and safety of tenants and neighbours at risk, there is also a risk of property contamination.

However, without being at the property 24/7 how can you check to see whether or not this policy is being upheld?

Not only are regular inspections essential to guarantee that you have insurance cover- they are also a vital part of minimising damage caused by drugs.

During an inspection there are several things that you can look out for other than just your standard drug paraphernalia.

  • Yellow / brown marks on interior walls and ceilings
  • Chemical stains
  • An unusual  number of chemical containers
  • Stained glass equipment
  • Unusual marks on the oven top
  • Small metal canisters
  • Jars full of liquid and paper
  • Portable gas tanks
  • Unpermitted installation of items such as security cameras  / alarms / fans /electrical sockets
  • Masking odours on inspections- IE incense sticks, extremely strong deodorant
  • Evidence of a large number of batteries

Certainly don’t make the mistake of stereotyping your tenants. People of all ages, all income brackets and all family demographics consume and manufacture drugs. Make sure that the neighbours now how to contact you if they have any concerns and ask any tradespeople that you may use to give any feedback after they visit.

Of course the best remedy is prevention- conducting thorough background checks prior to a tenancy and explaining that you will be conducting regular inspections may deter the wrong tenant from moving into your property in the first place.