Meth and Property -Information for Landlords - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Meth and Property
Information for Landlords

On this page:

What to Do if You Suspect a Meth Lab On Your Property
What to Do if You Suspect Meth Use on Your Property
Special Concerns for Multiple Unit Properties

What to Do if You Suspect a Meth Lab on Your Property

If your property - or a portion of your property - has been declared a meth lab, it is required that your property be cleaned according to the guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Health.

More information regarding cleanup requirements and your responsibilities can be found at:

Cleanup Requirements and Information for Property Owners

If your concern is that tenants have an active meth lab (they are cooking right now or they have cooked and will be cooking again) on your property, you should familiarize yourself with the Ways to Recognize a Meth Lab. If you believe there is an active meth lab, you should not enter the property and you should notify local law enforcement so that trained lab responders can handle the situation.

If you are concerned that a current tenant operated a meth lab in the past:
Discuss the property with local law enforcement to determine how likely it was to have been a meth lab and how they recommend you proceed.

If you are concerned that a former tenant operated a meth lab in the past:
You may test the property yourself or hire a hazardous waste contractor to inspect the property and take samples for methamphetamine testing.

  • Testing results must be below the California health-based cleanup standard for meth residue in order to present minimal health risk.
  • For details about how to test, see: Testing Process and Results

If you suspect a meth lab, you may decide to have the property remediated.

  • It is strongly recommended that you hire a professional hazardous waste contractor to do the remediation and any pre- or post-remediation sampling: Contractor List
  • If you decide to perform the remediation yourself, you should perform the remediation following the steps in the Cleanup Guidance to the best of your ability.

What to Do if You Suspect Meth Use on Your Property

If the only concern is meth use, the health concern about harmful exposures is limited to the methamphetamine itself, and does not include concerns about the other chemicals that can contaminate a residence from a meth lab:

  • You may sample for meth to find out how much meth is present.
  • There is minimal health risk from meth residue to anyone living in a residence when methamphetamine contamination measures at or below the California health-based cleanup standard.
  • If meth contamination measures above the California health-based cleanup standard, MDH recommends that you follow the remediation steps in the Cleanup Guidance as closely as possible to reduce the risk from exposure to meth residue.

Special Concerns for Multiple Unit Properties

If meth is used or made in a rental property with multiple units, contamination can occur throughout the structure from chemicals or by-products of the manufacturing process or usage of methamphetamine. The contamination from meth labs can spread throughout a structure, much like cigarette smoke spreads. The units adjoining the meth lab unit (up, down, front, back, left, and right) are the most likely to be contaminated. A contractor can use the exclusion criteria to find the bounds of the contamination and possibly limit the number of adjoining units that need to be remediated. Cleanup is always necessary in areas of the property where meth lab activity is known to have occurred even if test results show meth levels below the California standard.

Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 09:19AM