A landlord is suing his real estate agency after a police raid discovered a meth lab and a dismembered body in his property, according to a report.
Nicholas Wyman told the Herald Sun that the property has been left in an unsellable state while the clean-up has already cost him $85,000.
Speaking with the Herald Sun, Mr Wyman has decided to sue RT Edgar Ocean Grove, located in Bellarine, Victoria, after he saw the footage of the police raid on the news.
“I had no idea that my property was being used in this way,” Mr Wyman told the newspaper.
The Herald Sun report stated that the house, which has been declared off-limits by the local council, was rented in late 2011 under the name Jacob Gilmore. This name was later found to be fake.
The property, which was first valued at $885,000, may need to be demolished, the report added.
“Mr Wyman estimates the present value of the property does not exceed $500,000, if the property is indeed saleable at all,” the statement of claim said, according to the Herald Sun.
Speaking with Real Estate Business, the director at RT Edgar Ocean Grove, Ian Friend, said while he was unable to discusss the details of the matter due to legal reasons, this type of incident can be difficult for property managers to avoid.
“When you’re dealing with professional criminals like these guys, they will use everything and have everybody setup everywhere [to ensure success], so that’s the biggest problem we’ve got,” he said.
The news comes after insurance firm Terri Scheer warned property managers earlier this year to watch out for drug labs.
“Tenants involved in illicit drug manufacture can go to great lengths to hide such activities from property managers and may abscond before their lease is up for renewal, so they can be difficult to detect if you do not know what to look out for,” Terri Scheer insurance manager, Carolyn Majda, said.
“While conducting inspections, look out for signs that the property is being lived in. Illegal drug manufacturers generally do not live at the properties they use to cultivate crops.
“Intense lights used in hydroponics can visibly fade paintwork, so look behind hanging pictures for signs of colour variations on walls. Chemical waste is commonly disposed of down the drain, so ensure there are no blockages in the plumbing system and that the pipes are in good working order.”
“Try pulling up the carpet – if it comes away from the floor easily, it may have been removed to prevent staining in the drug manufacturing process and re-laid prior to inspection," she continued.
“Windows that are constantly covered or sealed during the day and night, and rooms that are covered in alfoil are also common signs that drugs may have been manufactured at the property.”