Pedro Cedeño, Lic. Real Estate Agent, Real Property Management Dade – Miami, FL
Over the weekend in NW Miami-Dade, police discovered a fully operational drug lab during an eviction according to local news reports. This highlights one of the worst fears in landlords — drugs in rental properties.
Around 7 a.m. on Saturday May 9th court services arrived at the rental property to remove the renter. They discovered an industrial-sized pill press, flasks, chemicals, LSD, MDMA, Meth, an assault riffle and two handguns at the property. Law enforcement arrested a 29 year old male.
Shocked neighbors expressed disbelief that a fully functional drug lab was in operation down the street from where their children play.
According to law enforcement, they were thankful they were able to stumble upon the lab during the eviction and shut it down as the chemicals posed a safety risk to area residents.
NW Miami-Dade home where drug lab was found Photo: Google Maps
This is the classic landlord nightmare — the boogieman himself. The owner of this rental property probably wasn’t receiving rent and was forced to evict resulting in the discovery that their rental property had more drugs in it than Tony Montana’s mansion.
So as a Miami rental property owner, how do you ensure this doesn’t happen? Like most things in life that involve risk, one can’t completely steer clear of the possibility something bad won’t happen but taking steps in order to almost eliminate it is very doable.
It starts long before your tenant moves in:
Price your rental property correctly. Pricing your home to high or too low actually attracts uninformed renters. Quality tenants tend to be informed and have options, and will steer clear from overpriced rental properties.
Make sure the rental property is clean and functional which will encourage quality tenants to go ahead and fill out an application. Credit, background (a national check is preferred), evictions, employment, and previous rental history are all checks that should be completed.
Stopping by the rental property to ensure everything is okay is perfectly within your right as a landlord. Try to provide reasonable notice and ensure everyone in the home is aware you’re stopping by. This will help you ensure the guidelines of the lease are being adhered to, that there aren’t any unreported maintenance issues, and oh yeah, that your home isn’t a grow house. If it was however, you probably won’t be invited in, which could be a red flag. Always use caution and common sense.
Related: Avoid Rental Property Hassles
As a landlord there’s so much that you have to worry about. Drugs in rental properties, although a scary thought, is far less likely than say non-payment of rent, which well, is pretty scary too. Feel free to contact us with questions or for some friendly advice. Happy renting!