P-Labs & LIM Reports - Purchasing a Property
The Relationship Between Land Information Memoranda and Contamination as a Result of Illegal Drug Manufacture/Use
We recommend to clients intending to purchase a property to obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) from the relevant local authority. This report may contain references to:
1. The presence of hazardous contaminants; and/or
2. Records of Cleansing and Repair Orders issued.
In respect of the premises, the Local Authority must declare any current or past information indicating that the property has been used as a P lab in the LIM report they issue. They must also state if there is a real or substantial risk of contamination. It is now accepted P Labs affect not only the dwelling, but eventually the soil surrounding the dwelling, and this can result in vegetation damage.
Any information contained in the LIM report which indicates contamination through use as a P lab or similar may not enable the purchaser to cancel the Agreement. We would also recommend a due diligence clause be inserted in an Agreement to ensure there is a clear route for cancellation should the LIM disclose information which is detrimental to the condition/value of the property.
When viewing a property, a prospective purchaser should look for:
(I) Evidence of use of the property for cultivation of cannabis (hydroponics): e.g. inspect roof cavity, basement, and cupboards for venting systems, broken fluorescent light bulbs, evidence of bulb packaging, blacked out windows, excessive tinfoil, soil/plant food/ nutrients, surveillance equipment, high water usage, and/or chemicals stored around the house; and
(II) Evidence of use of the property as a P lab: e.g. chemical odours (mainly solvents), chemical containers, expensive security and surveillance equipment, issues with access being denied to landlords, neighbours and/or real estate agents, blacked out windows, containers with labels removed, burn pits, stained soil, dead vegetation, and/or discarded packaging.
If evidence is found of contamination, individuals should leave the area immediately and avoid contact with any chemicals or equipment located on the property. All electrical devices should be left untouched as a simple act of turning on an electrical switch may cause a reaction with any chemicals located on the premises, including combustion.
The costs of decontamination can be significant and therefore if a potential purchaser intends to proceed with the property purchase they should, before declaring the agreement unconditional, obtain a quote in relation to the decontamination costs.
“I have used Turner Hopkins for my legal services for over eight years. I have always found their level of service excellent and their work to a very high standard. I have used various lawyers at their firm for various businesses I have been involved with and have always had very positive experiences. I would highly recommend them.”
“I can't speak highly enough of Jenny. She got everything done in a timely manner and when my ex-husband threw a spanner in the works at the eleventh hour she got the required documentation to his lawyers and settlement back on track.”
“Joy, we cannot thank you enough for your help with our purchase! You have been wonderful to deal with and so proactive (and patient with my numerous emails). We will be visiting NZ in April so will make sure we drop in to thank you in person.”
“John is very easy to talk to, he never makes you feel dumb, and never makes you feel like you are wasting his time for asking questions. He explains everything very clearly, every time. John's support staff are also very efficient and so easy to deal with. No detail is missed when dealing with them. My husband and I are fans of them all :)”
“To Michael Robinson – I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for many years of excellent service to the Bank. You have an outstanding business that has proved to be one of the most reliable and ethical businesses that Collections have dealt with in the almost 9 years I was with the Bank.”