Detect and Deter Meth Contamination in Residential Properties

Methamphetamine use is on the rise in Australia and the health consequences of contamination in the home can be extremely serious. According to a study by the Medical Journal of Australia, use of the illicit stimulant drug has almost tripled over the past five years and Australia now has the highest number of Meth users per capita in the English-speaking world. This inevitably has an impact on the potential for Meth Contamination in the property market. Regular smoking of meth inside a home can return a contamination reading as high as those produced by a Meth Lab which poses serious Health Risks to tenants and Legal and Financial Risks to Property Managers and Investors.

As Australia’s largest provider or Workplace Drug and Alcohol Detection devices, Pathtech now offers Surface Testing devices to help you detect the invisible residue left from the manufacture or use of meth.


The problem of meth residue in living environments


How Pathtech can assist:


Surface drug testing technology can detect the invisible residue left from drug manufacturer or use. Virtually any surface can be tested including walls, ceilings, floors, benchtops, windowsills, sinks, vents, furniture and appliances. The Securetec DrugWipe Surface Testing device from Pathtech is easy to use and delivers reliable, accurate results in just eight-minutes. For Property Managers and Investors who suspect illicit behaviours, regular checks using Surface Testing technology provide a simple solution that delivers significant peace of mind without the need to engage expensive specialist testing services.

When is the best time to screen your property?


Surface drug testing can be used when there is a suspicion of illicit behaviour or incorporated as a regular part of a property inspection to assist in the early detection of meth use (when remediation is also far less expensive) whilst also deterring tenants from using or making meth on a property.

Between tenants:

Screening for meth residue between tenancies ensures you are fulfilling your responsibility to provide a home that is fit for purpose.

Before purchase:

A pre-purchase meth residue screening can help to ensure that you are not buying a house or apartment with an invisible problem

You can introduce surface testing once a tenant has vacated, even if you have never tested before. This would establish a ‘baseline’ for the property to ensure it is safe for the next tenant. The new tenants can be advised that the property will be tested upon vacating. Again this establishes the base line and is a deterrent for the current tenants and also can attract a better quality tenant.

Before selling:

If you’re selling a property in an area that is commonly known for meth use or manufacturing, being able to advertise that your property is meth free is a strong selling point.

The Surface Testing Process


1. Upon suspicion or as part of regular property inspection, conduct a surface drug test (we recommend testing multiple surfaces) to ascertain or validate whether there is any trace of methamphetamine present

2. If a negative result, no need for further testing or action is required

3. A non-negative result indicates the presence of meth and a confirmatory assessment is required. This can be conducted by an preferred Pathtech partner

Information for Landlords


  • Maintain your current insurance requirements as some insurers are now only paying out on a meth clean up claim if you are regularly screening your property in between tenancies

  • You will be creating a deterrent for meth manufacture and usage from happening by up to 80%, this lowers your exposure financially and legally

  • When a certificate of safe living environment is issued and advertised on a property you will find the property sits on the market for a shorter time as people would show preference to a property that has been tested and is meth free

  • You can attract a higher quality tenant that wants to move into a property that is safe and clean

  • Third hand exposure of meth residue to a young child can cause them to have the same levels in their systems as an adult ice user- this is easily avoided with testing in between tenants.

  • Property with a proven meth history can typically sell below market rates – is it worth the risk?

  • Property contaminated with meth poses serious health risks. Are you willing to compromise the wellbeing of people living in your property?