Some say parts of a home’s history should not have to be disclosed to potential buyers
A Missouri lawmaker has drafted a bill that would allow sellers to not have to disclose any meth-related history of their property to potential buyers, after the lab has been decontaminated and deemed safe by state standards.
The “Controlled Substance Contaminated Property Cleanup Act” would require a licensing program for contractors who decontaminate meth lab sites.
Once that clean up meets standards, the property owner would be in the clear, which has some concerned.
“I don’t care if it sits for 10 years, they’re still going to find meth in the house,” said Shelli Pendergraft, Owner of S&J BioClean LLC.
Pendergraft, who cleans meth lab sites in Southwest Missouri, says chemicals absorbed in the walls can cause negative side effects for residents long after the initial cleanups.
“A lot of times you cannot sleep, you’re wanting to move around all the time, you just can’t get a peace of mind,” she said.
She says another danger zone is the carpet.
“I can’t imagine a baby crawling on the carpet because it can chemically burn them,” Pendergraft said.
The current law states that property owners must disclose to buyers that the home was previously a meth lab.
Under the proposed legislation, that requirement would be dropped, as long as cleaning standards were met.
Many area realtors disagree with the proposal.
“They should have the knowledge that something was there in the past,” said Ramona Lannon, Realtor for Charles Burt Realtors. “Then they can make that decision at that time if it’s something they want to go forward with.”
Lannon says she has been trained to keep an eye out for homeowners who may not be disclosing everything.
“We’ve been through courses and seen homes that have been through this, so we might be able to notice things on the property and let the buyers know ahead of time,” she said.
“A realtor has to tell you it’s a meth lab, but an actual homeowner doesn’t have to disclose it,” Pendergraft said.
And some would prefer not to disclose it, if all the requirements under the proposed legislation are met.
Currently, cleaning up these properties is not required by the state.