Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, was initially produced by gangs on the West Coast. But since that time, meth production has moved to small, residential home labs, especially in rural areas.
Meth residue poses significant health risks for the buyers of those homes, especially for the younger members of the family, but there is no obligation for a seller to disclose whether a home was used for meth production.
Michigan requires that sellers of residential property complete a Seller's Disclosure Statement for potential buyers. The Disclosure asks about environmental problems, such as asbestos, radon gas and lead-based paint, that could be a risk for future owners. However, the form was created before meth labs were a problem, so there is no question regarding the production of meth in the home. Currently, a seller does not have any legal duty to mention that information.
Until the Legislature acts to update the Seller's Disclosure Statement, the burden will be on the buyer of a home to protect himself. There are both home tests available for detecting meth residue and companies that can test for and remediate the contamination if any meth residue is detected.
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