Information for Real Estate Agents - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Meth and Property
Information for Real Estate Agents

On this page:

Disclosure Requirements for Real Estate Transactions
What is Cleanup Remediation?
January 2014 Changes
Foreclosed or Forfeited Properties (Was it a Meth Lab?)
Is the Property Habitable?
Printable Information: Selling a Former Meth Lab Property (PDF: 139KB/4 pages)
Printable Information: Buying a Former Meth Lab Property (PDF: 141KB/4 pages)

Disclosure Requirements for Real Estate Transactions

According to state law, the sellers of a property are required to disclose the fact that a property was used for methamphetamine manufacture if the sellers have knowledge of this activity. This disclosure is required both in the case of a declared or an undeclared meth lab situation.
Along with that disclosure statement the seller must inform the buyer of the following:

  • Whether local authority issued an order on the property that it must be properly remediated before it could be occupied
  • Whether any orders issued were vacated upon completion of remediation
  • If there was no order issued, but the seller is aware that meth lab activity occurred, they must indicate the status of removal and remediation on the property

This requirement can be found in Minnesota Statutes, section 152.0275, subdivision 2(m).

What is Cleanup Remediation?

Making a former meth lab site safer for habitation requires two basic efforts:

  • Gross chemical removal: This is the process in which law enforcement or a Drug Enforcement Administration contractor removes the obvious dangers from the site. Obvious dangers include containers of chemicals, equipment, and apparatus that could be used to make illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and other illegal items. This process does not cleanup or remove chemical spills, stains or residue that could be harmful to inhabitants. A property that has had only a gross chemical removal is not fit for habitation.
  • Remediation: The cleaning of interior structures and, if applicable, the surrounding land, surface waters and ground water by a contractor: This is the process of removing the residue and waste from the site after the gross chemical removal is done. A property that has been remediated should present minimal health risk to occupants.

January 2014 Changes

  • Prior to January 1, 2006, the State did not (but some counties did) require remediation of properties declared meth labs.
  • Since January 1, 2006, the State requires remediation of all declared meth labs.
  • Since January 1, 2006, the State requires affidavits be filed on the deed when a property is declared a meth lab and when the remediation is complete.

Foreclosed or Forfeited Properties (Was it a Meth Lab?)

If you are buying or selling a property where the owner does not have intimate knowledge of the property’s history, you can use the following resources to determine whether the property used to be a meth lab. A more in-depth discussion about the options and resources available in making this determination can be found at this page: Was This Property a Meth Lab?

To find out if the property has ever been legally declared a meth lab:

If the property has never been legally declared a meth lab:

  • This can make it difficult to be completely certain if a property was a former meth lab. One good resource is to discuss the property with local law enforcement to determine how likely it was to have been a meth lab. Your local authority can be found at the following website:
    State and Local Government on the Net

With the owner’s permission, you can test a property for meth residue:

  • Professional remediation companies have personnel who are trained in testing procedures and can be hired to do meth testing. Please contact the companies directly for cost estimates and timeline information:
    Contractor List
  • Home test kits are available that you can get online. MDH does not evaluate home test kits for effectiveness. Contact the manufacturers for specific information about test kits. Find descriptions, details, and help understanding the results at: Testing Process and Results.

Is the Property Habitable?

A property that has been properly remediated should present minimal health risks to the occupants of a home:

  • Look for affidavits filed on the deed that describe the remediation steps taken.
  • If you are unsure whether the property has been remediated, you can get the permission of the owner to test for meth residue. See Testing Process and Results for more information about what is involved in testing.

 

 

Updated Friday, March 11, 2016 at 06:25AM