With Perth now the methamphetamine capital of Australia, one industry expert is urging private landlords to exercise special care when selecting tenants.
Property Club says data released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission show the average daily meth consumption is about one hit for 17 people a day in Perth, compared to an average national daily figure of one hit for every 28 people.
Property Club national manager Troy Gunasekera said private landlords – who cannot undertake the same level of personal checks as specialist property management companies – are now being targeted by drug dealers.
“The vast majority of tenants are generally very good people and bad tenants are in the minority,” Mr Gunasekera said.
“However, if you manage a property privately, you tend to be targeted by bad tenants and the risk of associated problems is much higher.
“That is why private landlords need to seriously consider using the services of property management company.”
Mr Gunasekera recommended tendering rental properties to three separate property management companies.
“Hardly a week goes by when we hear news that homes in the suburbs have been raided by police for drug dealing or there was an explosion on a property with a clandestine drug laboratory,” he said.
“Property owners have to understand that drug dealers are highly organised and will seek out private landlords because they do not have access to background checking systems such as the national data base for prospective tenants.”
Mr Gunasekera said there are some less obvious but still serious consequences of having drug dealers as tenants.
“If a home is destroyed by an illegal drug laboratory, it could financially ruin a mum and dad investor who owns the property,” he said.
“At the same time, if the home is being used by drug dealer tenants, it will only result in devaluing the property and attract drug users who will continue to visit the property even when the drug dealers are evicted.”