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Was Your Rental Unit or Future Home a Drug Lab?

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If you are a home buyer or landlord, your home or apartment could have been a clandestine drug lab (also known as a clan lab). Even if the place looked clean, someone could still have used it to make drugs. If that was the case, simply cleaning off the dirt isn't enough to make your home healthy.

Clandestine drug labs require special detailed cleaning to make sure you or your tenants don't get sick. Here are some signs to look for to help determine if your rental unit or future home could have been a drug lab.

1. Strong odours

Even if the home was cleaned on the surface, you could still notice strange strong odours. These smells won't be like the usual home smells like sewage, food, or cleaning products. Strange smells combined with odd sink and toilet stains are key signs of something usual.

2. Unusual leftover chemicals

It's not unusual for a homeowner or tenant to leave some things behind in the basement or garage. However, if you find a lot of things like bleach bottles, Sudafed packs, and acetone cans, then those are red flags. A single can or package is not concerning, but a large amount may be.

3. Tenants or former owners act secretive

If the former owners or tenants seem unusually secretive, that could be a sign. They may take extreme measures to discourage interest in their home. For example, every window may have dark covers. They may dispose of trash in a far neighbour's bin. The home may seem to have excessive security to keep people out.

4. The property was for sale at an unusually low price

If the home is for sale for way below market rate, that could be another sign, but not always. Fixer-uppers are frequently for sale for bottom rates. However, to be on the safe side, make some inquiries and test your home for unusual issues like being a former clandestine drug lab.

5. Tenant lives with several unauthorised people

If your former tenant seems to always have way more than the number of people you rented to, that could be a sign of illegal activity. Another sign is a steady flow of new people coming to and from a home or apartment. Both activities indicate something unusual.

If you are suspicious about whether the former owner or tenant used your home as a drug lab, get it tested. Your home could have residual chemicals that can make you and your family sick. If you are a landlord, especially check after you evict a tenant for drug-related charges. If you are buying a home, then check during the buying process. You can also contact companies that test and analyse clandestine drug labs to learn which steps to take next.