Mollyb1, Home Buyer in North Richland Hills,...

Does the State of Texas require sellers to disclose if the house was ever used as meth lab?

Asked by Mollyb1, North Richland Hills, TX Thu Jun 9, 2011

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Brian Rayl’s answer
Molly,

Just as a clarification to something that you said:

The ONLY way that someone is required to disclose is if they have knowledge. A bank who foreclosed on the property is not required to file a sellers disclosure in the state of Texas, and chances are that the bank doesn't know that the property was used as a meth lab.

A landlord might have knowledge of the fact if the meth lab was busted and they arrested the tenants, but if it was used as a meth lab and they then abandoned the residence or moved when the short term lease was up to avoid detection, the landlord may not be aware of it if the people did not leave evidence of it.

If this is a big deal for you, once you find a home that you are interested in buying, you can go to the police department and give them the address of the property and ask them if they have ever had any reports to that address. If a meth lab was busted there, they would have to tell you. They will also tell you if they ever called to report a break in, vandalism, family dispute from a neighbor, etc.

Hope this helps, and if you have any questions, keep asking! Always happy to help.

It's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl
Keller Williams Elite
972-949-4222
Brian@Rayl-Estate.com
http://BrianRayl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 11, 2011
Thanks, Brian. In Mississippi, the question must be included on seller disclosure form completed at time house is listed with an agent. We have lived in Texas for one year. We are going to start looking to purchase next year, and I just wanted to get some preliminary facts.

Dp2, I agree that it's unlikely that a meth user/manufacturer would be selling his/her home and disclosing his/her crime. However, if a landlord has had a renter who was found to have manufactured meth or if the bank forecloses bc the meth dealer failed to pay mortgage, then, according to Mississippi law, each would have to disclose that meth was manufactured in the house. Meth is a widespread problem. I have seen homes in what would normally be $300k price range listed for $50-75k. Meth isn't a problem for only one income class.

Thank you both for your help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
That's an interesting question. Yet, I suspect if someone had the gall to break the law by cooking meth in his/her home, then s/he probably would have the gall to not disclose that s/he cooked meth there.

Besides, that's what due diligence is for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
You would need to speak with a real estate lawyer to get the legal answer on it, but I BELIEVE the answer is YES. It may also require a hazardous chemicals or environmental notice to be included in the contract due to the volatile and dangerous chemicals that are used (and created) through the manufacturing process.

What I tell all of my clients is this: If you have knowledge, it is best to disclose it. While the state may not REQUIRE that it be disclosed, if something happens, they can come back and sue. They may not WIN, but they can always sue, and that will take time and money out of YOUR pocket to fight, even if you win. It is always best to disclose if you have the knowledge, even if not required to do so.

Again, this is not legal advice, simply an opinion. Speak with a real estate attorney to get the LEGAL interpretation on that.

It's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl
Keller Williams Elite
972-949-4222
Brian@Rayl-Estate.com
http://BrianRayl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 9, 2011
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