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acerunner 12-15-2009 07:25 PM

Just bought a house, used to be meth house
Hi, new to forums. i just bought a house, so I will be pretty active here.

The house was a bank-owned foreclosure couple weeks ago. It needed some cosmetic things fixed, but today, I find out from a neighbor the the house was part of a drug bust and was a meth house.

Two issues, getting rid of any contaminates, and any legal stuff.

Legal Stuff:
Since it is foreclosure, there is no disclosure and seller basically is not responsible for anything. I read somewhere that disclosure of hazardous materials is required by law. Which is superseded? seller's no disclosure statement or law requiring disclosure of hazardous material? Also, I believe DEA needs to clear the house as safe to occupy before home can be sold. How can I find proof of such? or any document regarding to what chemicals were found and what kind of cleanup was done after the drug bust. Btw, this is in California.

Getting Rid of contaminates:
I know fumes and chemicals can be absorbed into the building materials. Someone told me that i'd be ok just getting rid of drywall and ducts, and re-doing it all. Even if tests show it is safe to live in, that's something I would probably do now anyway. Better safe than sorry. There seems to be little information on long term effects of meth byproducts, and there may be things that even tests wont show. So if i remove all drywall and ducts, do I need to worry about framing also? Will that absorb hazardous fumes? Not ideal, but i'm ok with tearing down to the frame and rebuilding, but if the frame will need to be replaced as well, that's a complete demolition that i don't want to do. Not to mention its way out of my budget.

Daniel Holzman 12-15-2009 07:36 PM

First off, this is not a legal forum, you need to consult with an attorney on the very complex issue of disclosure requirements etc. Anyone on this forum foolish enough to offer an opinion on such a loaded legal issue should be ignored.

Second, without detailed knowledge of the chemicals used, and the type of reactions they were used in, there is no credible way to even begin to discuss the issues you raised regarding potential absorption of hazardous chemicals into the building. I recommend you retain a professional firm with expertise in chemical analysis to go over the house and prepare a written report on what was found, along with recommendations on how to handle the problem. As for the someone who told you that it would be OK to simply remove ducts and drywall, unless they have specific expertise in this very complex issue I would afford them zero credibility.

pyper 12-15-2009 08:18 PM

Look in the yellow pages and find a certified industrial hygienist. It will cost you a couple hundred $ for them to come out and look your place over and suggest what course of action you should take.

But it's worth it, because they know what they're doing. S/he will tell you what things you can do for yourself (safely) and what you need to have someone else do.

concretemasonry 12-15-2009 08:26 PM

The house could have been casually referred to a meth house for only a week or it could have been that for years. That will help to narrow down the possibilities. Only testing will tell what you really have purchased.

I bought a nice townhouse from a slumlord and did find some bags of white powder in the toilet tanks and above the smoke detectors. I assume the police that dented and ruined the entry door got there soon enough. It appeared to be drugs and not meth since the neighbors did not know anything was going on and there was a common driveway and only one real exit. the slumlord lived in it a year or two after the eviction and then flipped it, which was obvious.


mikey48 12-15-2009 09:01 PM

Go talk to your county or City, they should have any records if drugs were manufactured in the house and if it was reclaimed. In our state we have a website with a database of homes that were involved with meth and if they were cleaned. I bet Ca has the same thing. Good luck and go Google Meth for more information.

acerunner 12-16-2009 01:38 AM

thanks, i just needed to know where to even start.

pyper 12-16-2009 05:59 AM

I wouldn't waste time looking for city records. Just ask a cop who works the area. Cops know what's going on, but many times their knowledge doesn't ever become part of the official record.

acerunner 12-16-2009 02:10 PM


Originally Posted by pyper (Post 367552)
I wouldn't waste time looking for city records. Just ask a cop who works the area. Cops know what's going on, but many times their knowledge doesn't ever become part of the official record.

i tried going to the local police station. Basically said crime reports are avialable up to a year in public records, but beyond that it is not public. So no help from them. =(

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