How to avoid buying/renting former meth houses

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- When cops bust up a meth lab, toxic residue can be left behind. Property owners must pay for the cleanup, but not all do. Often unsuspecting renters and buyers have no idea, and the consequences can be deadly.

"I put in notice of quarantine just to see how many we had filed," said Sevier County Register of Deeds Sherry Huskey.

Dozens since a state law in 2006 requiring police to flag the deed of former meth labs. And the number is growing, "more than we would like. Of course, we don't want any," said Huskey.

It's easy to find out if the home you want to buy is a former meth lab. You simply start with your local register of deeds. "By the property owner's name. You give me that information and then I can locate the deed, I could even check the index if they think something has happened in the last 5-15 years," said Huskey.

Carl Dowdy spends hours researching deeds as a title attorney. He says a meth lab quarantine means trouble for the property owner. "That affects what a person can do with the property and certainly affects the value of the property," said Dowdy.

Quarantines can be cleared from deeds once the owner shows proof of a cleanup. Until then, Dowdy says you better do your homework.

"I would say it's very important."

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 125242149 -
Gray Television, Inc.