Eyes Wide Open Beats Eyes Wide Shut, Every Time
Eyes Wide Open, Beats Eyes Wide Shut, Every Time
Buying a home is more complicated today than at any other time in our history. It used to be that you could trust that your new home was clean and safe, free from harmful chemicals and toxins. For most of us, the idea that our home might have Meth Amphetamine contamination was akin to the idea that aliens might have occupied our home. While drug abuse has been around for ages, the thought that the effects of such abuse would reach to our upscale communities and homes was unthinkable. The reality of today’s world is much different.
With Meth manufacturing moving from the seedy back alleys of America, into our safe urban neighborhoods, as evidenced by the innovative new manufacturing process known as Shake & Bake meth Production; the chances of your new home having Meth Contamination are growing ever higher. But how can you know if the new property you are considering might have Meth Contamination? What about the State Health Department?
Surely the State Health Department will have a record of Meth Contaminated homes, right?
Well let’s take a look. Here is a section taken from the Utah Department of Health’s own FAQ page for the answers.
(Q) Can you tell me if a property has been contaminated or cleaned up?
(A) No. The state does not maintain records of current or past properties or of properties with confirmed or suspected contamination. Some local health departments have records and may be able to share them with you. Each local health department has its own ordinances regarding collection, maintenance, and release of records on property contamination and decontamination. You will need to work with your local health department to find out what records are available and can be released.
(Q) Do I have an obligation to disclose?
(A) We can only address health questions. Since disclosure is a legal question, we cannot provide an answer. We have provided the link to disclosure requirements as a service. We recommend you work with your realtor to determine your legal obligations for disclosure.
(Q) Can the state take a report of a property that is or might be contaminated with methamphetamine?
(A) No. The state does not collect or maintain any records of properties that are, have been, or suspected to be contaminated with methamphetamine. The state does not maintain any records of of properties that have been decontaminated. Work with your local health department to report a property.(Utah Dept. of Health, Frequently Asked Questions)
So I Have To Check With the Local County Health Department?
Hmm, according to the Utah Department of Health, we must check with the county our proposed purchase property resides in. Okay, we can do that. So off you go to research your new intended home’s address with the county health department. So you manage to track down a list of contaminated or previously contaminated homes in the county of interest. Whew, your property isn’t on the list, you breath a sigh of relief.
How accurate is that list anyway, you ask? We all assume it has to be a complete and accurate list, after all it’s the government. Unfortunately, there are a few factors that come into play here.
Reporting Requirements are not consistent
The county health department can only list homes that have been reported. Naturally we assume that law enforcement report every contaminated property they come across, right? The answer to that question is… maybe. You see, while there is an implied obligation to report such contaminated properties, the strictness of that requirement varies from state to state and from county to county. There are some counties that do an excellent job of coordinating with law enforcement agencies to uncover contaminated properties; hopefully your anticipated home lies in one of these countries. The problem lies in the inconsistency from county to county. Merely assuming a county provided list of home is accurate could lead to big problems with your new home.
The simple fact is, many home sellers do not disclose previous Meth Contamination for one simple reason, it ruins the selling value of their home. While the penalties for not doing so are clear, most property owners are aware of the limited ability of health departments to enforce their own regulations. Granted, in most cases your new home is free from contamination, but what is the health of your family worth?
When in doubt, Check it Out!
But Surely The Police Report Contaminated Homes, Right?
Yes, in a perfect world the above statement would absolutely be true. The problem is, we don’t live in a perfect world. The harsh truth is that police and law enforcement departments are overworked and focused on bigger fish. Couple that with the fact that police only get involved in about 10% of Meth Contaminated home cases, and you begin to see the potential problem. Granted law enforcement agencies report those contamination instances they are involved in, hopefully, but that still leaves 90% of the Meth Contaminated homes relying on the integrity of the owner/seller to be forthright and honest.
What Is The Bottom Line?
That’s an excellent question. The bottom line is this, Caveat Emptor (Latin). What this means, loosely translated, is “Buyer Beware“. The final burden always rests upon the one buying the property. Your realtor may suggest you pay for a Meth Test of your home; it’s good advice. Listen to them.
The safest policy is to put out the small amount required for a proper Meth Contamination test and know for sure.
Meth Mob Decontamination services is as close as your phone. Our motto is, “Test Every Home, Every Time”. We believe that in our modern world there is no other option. Your family needs to be safe. Don’t take chances when it comes to their health. Make the call and relax.