Can you spot the neighborhood drug nest?
You did your research before investing in your latest rental property. You looked at crime statistics in the area, the quality of the school district, the location, the access to major freeways and shopping. You did your homework. The idyllic neighborhood your new property is safely nestled in couldn’t possibly be home to a drug house, right?
The hard truth is this: drug dealers do the same research you do when looking to rent or purchase a property. Here’s why, people don’t expect to find their next door neighbor, in their upscale neighborhood, is trafficking drugs. When a drug dealer places their central command in a “safe, family neighborhood” they think they’ve found the perfect cover.
Here are some common things to look for when trying to spot a drug house
- Strange odors similar to fabric softener coming from the home
- Blacked out windows or windows with heavy curtains, blinds or drapery.
- Abnormally bright lights coming from the home
- Strange traffic, late night visits, people entering through the side or back of the house and not the front door
- Visitors stay for less than 20 minutes
- Constant “repairs” being made inside the home
- Large amounts of tubing, hosing and building materials in the yard
- The owner never appear to spend the night or be home for more than a few hours
- The same few people always seem to be loitering near the house
- There isn’t a “family” on the property
- There are large amounts of potting soil or fertilizer but no obvious landscaping being done
- There is an abnormal amount of security surrounding/protecting the house
If you notice one or two of these things does it mean you have a drug house in your neighborhood? Not necessarily. But it is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. If you do suspect a drug house in your area, be sure to contact the local police department and be prepared to provide them with specific reasons as to why you are concerned.
ARPOLA strongly recommends using investigative tenant screening to determine if potential tenants have a criminal background involving illegal drugs.