On March 26, 2010, Senators Lena Taylor and Spencer Coggs along with Senator Lehman sponsored 2009 Senate Bill 650. SB 650 will affect both landlords and sellers of real estate in which the drug methamphetamine has been manufactured.
The bill requires both owners wishing to sell and landlords wishing to rent property that was used as a “meth lab” in the past to disclose in writing this fact to potential renters and purchasors.
If methamphetamine was manufactured on the property the seller of the property must disclose this in the real estate condition report. If a landlord is renting a property that was previously used as a “meth lab” then the landlord must disclose this in writing to any potential renters.
The production of “crystal meth” has become an increasing problem, one that does not just affect city properties. In fact more and more meth labs are being discovered in rural areas where the illegal activity is far less likely to be noticed.
Studies have shown that the hazardous chemicals that are used to make meth and the chemicals which are a produced during the manufacture of the drug can seep into floors, ceilings, walls, duct work etc. and can remain for years. I believe that this discovery is the prime impetus for the creation of this bill.
While I think this is a good bill, it goes without saying that any landlord or seller of real estate in which meth has been manufactured will have a very difficult time renting or selling this property if the bill is passed. As a result it is more important than ever for landlords to visit and inspect their rental properties. To be a good landlord you need to know what is going on in your units. Wisconsin law allows landlords to make periodic inspections of their rental property with at least 12 hours notice (ATCP 134.09 (2). Landlords should take advantage of this opportunity to inspect their rental units —- especially if they suspect illegal activity.