A young couple thought they got a great deal, $190,000 for a two-story house in the historic district of Bristol Borough, PA with a yard and plenty of space. After they moved in, the headaches, sore throats and difficulty breathing started. Three weeks later, one of their new neighbors told them something the seller had neglected to mention: their new home used to be a meth house.
Searching the DEA website confirmed this, as did an independent lab test that showed low levels of residual methamphetamine.
The two have had to clean and scrub all their possessions and put them in storage, or get rid of them. They are living with their parents while trying to raise enough money to get the place professionally cleaned, which will cost them $25,000.
In PA, there’s no law requiring the seller to disclose that the property used to be a drug facility. The couple did pay for home inspections prior to the sale, but they don’t cover “checking to see if the house was a meth den.”
The two are trying to get the word out on their blog and also help others avoid their same calamity. A recent post included these warning signs of a potential meth lab
* Unusual, strong odors (like cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals).
* Renters who pay their landlords in cash. (Most drug dealers trade exclusively in cash.)
* Lots of traffic – people coming and going at unusual times. There may be little traffic during the day, but at night the activity increases dramatically.
* Excessive trash including large amounts of items such as: antifreeze containers, lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, drain cleaner and duct tape.
* Unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the home.
* Windows blacked out or covered by aluminum foil, plywood, sheets, blankets, etc.
* Secretive / protective area surrounding the residence (like video cameras, alarm systems, guard dogs, reinforced doors, electrified fencing).
* Persons exiting the structure to smoke
* Little traffic during the day, but high traffic at late hours; including different vehicles arriving and staying for short periods of time.
* Little or no mail, furniture, visible trash and no newspaper delivery.