News & Resources

Amendment leaves landlords more responsible for meth lab cleanup

Nov 22, 2011 Matt Roesly

The Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, City Council recently amended a three-year old ordinance to put a greater onus on landlords to cover the cleanup costs for methamphetamine labs, the Cuyahoga Falls Patch reports. City police chief Thomas Pozza spearheaded the amendment, noting the company that cleans up after meth lab raids receives between $1,000 and $2,000 per bust. Lately, funds for the cleaning crew have been "drying up," meaning costs would instead be relegated to the city's taxpayers. The original measure, signed in 2008, states that landlords must pay for meth lab site remediation if their tenants cannot. This involves removing all traces of chemical residue - an expensive process that could require tearing out carpeting and walls. Under the amendment, landlords will now also be responsible for the cost of "initial dismantling and removal of meth-related chemicals and paraphernalia." Dennis Bates, president of the Falls Landlord Council of Ohio, explained to the news source that he performs proper tenant background screenings, but can't account for friends or relatives who come over without the landlord's knowledge. The Beacon Journal reports that from July through September, the county billed more than $16,000 for the disposal of chemicals used to make meth.