METH TEST: MethScreen says the number of Queensland property owners having their homes tested for the dangerous substances is soaring, with more than 400 tests done in the past seven months alone.
METH TEST: MethScreen says the number of Queensland property owners having their homes tested for the dangerous substances is soaring, with more than 400 tests done in the past seven months alone. Martin Sykes

Six Coast homes found with disturbing meth levels

SIX Sunshine Coast properties have been found with disturbing levels of ice and methamphetamine residue, a company that tests homes for the substances has confirmed,

MethScreen says the number of Queensland property owners having their homes tested for the dangerous substances is soaring, with more than 400 tests done in the past seven months alone.

The company said it tested 14 Sunshine Coast properties, with six coming back with worrying results.

Their results also found 36 per cent of properties tested on the Gold Coast, and 26 per cent of properties tested in Brisbane recorded a positive reading.

The risks associated with a contaminated property were serious and potentially life threatening, REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella warned.

"If it is suspected that drugs have been produced in a property, the matter should immediately be referred to an expert for appropriate testing, as well as the property manager associated with the property, and potentially the police," Ms Mercorella said.

Liz Unkles' rental property recently tested positive for ice, with methamphetamine readings three times above the Australian guideline levels.

"We're hopeful landlord insurance will pay for the house to be decontaminated, but at the moment the house is unrentable and we're losing thousands of dollars in potential rent," Mrs Unkles said.

"I'd hate to think of the repercussions if I had leased the property to a family with young children, without getting the property tested."

The increase in demand has prompted Smoke Alarms Solutions to offer a meth testing service to the 220,000 properties it already services.

CEO Cameron Davis said the issue was on the radar of real estate agents.

"The ramification of not having these properties fit for purpose could be huge," he said.

If an initial test came back positive it was then passed on to Meth Screen to discover the exact level of contamination.

Meth Lab Cleaners Australia director Joshua Marsden said it cost between $5000 and $30,000 to clean and decontaminate a house. In extreme cases a house may need to be demolished.

"The demand for our service has increased by five times in the past month," he said.

Meth Screen CEO Ryan Matthews said it was time the Australian government joined the likes of New Zealand and made testing mandatory.


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