A huge meth lab bust in northwest Fresno is raising lots of questions about the future of that house. Can it be sold? And would anyone feel safe living there?
Wednesday, police raided the rental home on Birch Avenue. Inside they seized meth, guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, but a big health hazard was left behind.
Warning signs posted on the home clearly show it is a condemned meth house. Under state law, this information must be publically disclosed.
“The owners are really victims in this case, so we truly try to work with them,” said Vincent Mendes, Dept. of Environmental Health.
Vincent Mendes is with the Department of Environmental Health. He says a team has run contamination tests inside this rental home and now they're waiting for the results to see how much damage a contractor needs to fix.
“Sometimes they take it clear down to studs. I've seen beautiful homes gutted and it's tens of thousands of dollars,” Vincent Mendes, of the Dept. of Environmental Health.
Greg Johnson lives nearby the lab which was producing a million and a half dollars of meth a month. He fears it will get neglected and turn into an eye sore.
“Hopefully they can get it cleaned up quick or get it sold and get it back on the market,” said Greg Johnson, a concerned neighbor.
We visited Guarantee Real Estate to see how likely that is.
“Well a meth house is a concern,” said Sandy Darling of Guarantee Real Estate.
Sandy Darling says occasionally an investor paying cash will cover the clean-up costs.
“But typically the property owner would have to take care of mitigating it, removing all of the contamination and getting the property cleared before it could be sold,” said Darling.
And what about the sale price?
“If the property is cleaned up and taken care of then there's no reason for it not to command a similar price to anything else in the neighborhood,” said Darling.
Darling says even if went significantly lower than expected, it would not drag down the neighborhood.
“When an appraisal is done, at least three comparables in the area have to be used and if there's one that's out of whack with the others, it's usually taken into some consideration with reasoning why,” said Darling.
Reporter: “A little refreshing to hear it wouldn't drag your market value down?”
“I think that's good. That's good news that you found out,” said Johnson.
If you own a rental house, investigators offer a good legal tip. They say to write into the contract that tenants cannot run illegal operations like marijuana grows or meth labs. Spelling that out could help you possibly win a civil law suit.
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