Meth and Property
Information for Renters
On this page:
If you are concerned about a possible meth lab:
You can test for meth residue.
- There are at-home tests. These will tell you if there are meth levels above a certain threshold.
- You can take wipe samples and send them to a lab to be analyzed. You will receive back a concentration of meth residue.
- If your test results indicate that the meth levels are below the California health-based standard (1.5 µg/100cm2), there is minimal health risk to any family member living in the residence.
- If your test results indicate that the meth levels are above the California standard, it is recommended that you follow the steps in MDH’s Cleanup Guidance to the best of your ability in order to minimize any potential health risk.
For additional information about testing, see Testing Process and Results
If you are concerned about a neighbor possibly making or using meth:
You can talk to your landlord.
- A landlord is able to test the common areas of the property for meth residue.
Other resources that may be helpful:
If you are experiencing respiratory issues that you think may be caused by your home and want to discuss possibilities other than a meth lab, the Clean Indoor Air unit at the Minnesota Department of Health may be able to talk with you about possible causes and remedies.
- For more information, see Air Quality
If you have children and you are concerned that the condition of your home is dangerous to their health, you can consider contacting County Protective Services for advice on how to proceed.
- To find protection agencies in your area, see Minnesota’s County and Tribal Protection Agencies
If you want details about the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants:
- The Minnesota Attorney General’s website describes the laws that set out those rights and responsibilities.
Does the landlord need to inform me if the abode I am renting used to be a meth lab?
No. There are a number of things a landlord doesn't have to disclose such as deaths, drug addictions, etc. Laws prohibit the landlord from renting an uninhabitable property. When a property has been declared a Meth Lab, the county declares the property uninhabitable only until the property has been remediated (cleaned up) according to the steps in the Cleanup Guidance. The cleanup steps should return a property to a habitable state. Excluding other issues, when a landlord rents a unit that used to be a meth lab and has been remediated, it should be habitable. Therefore, the law does not require the landlord disclose past meth labs.
How do I clean up a house or apartment that may have been a meth lab?
For any meth contamination, the process discussed in MDH’s Cleanup Guidance is a good method to use to clean up the meth. The process is best carried out by a professional hazardous waste contractor, especially if the concern was the production of meth and not just the use of meth. If there was not a known meth lab in your home, but you are concerned about meth contamination and do not wish to hire a contractor, you can follow the steps in the Guidance to the best of your ability to significantly reduce risk. Particularly, steps such as washing your walls, ceilings, and surfaces with a detergent-water solution and replacing old carpets will help reduce risk from any residue left over from past meth use.
If you want to investigate further into whether or not your property was ever a meth lab, see: Was This Property a Meth Lab?. You can also find additional details about cleanup at: Cleanup Requirements.
How do I get my landlord to act when there is a meth lab or meth use in an adjoining unit?