DENVER (KDVR) — It was the majestic view and the peace and quiet that made Kathi McCarty fall in love with her small Evergreen cabin.
But in 2016, McCarty decided to move out of the mountains and rent the cabin after dealing with some health complications.
“To me, what seemed like a sensible solution turned into my worst nightmare,” McCarty said.
Former meth lab flipped for profit
McCarty hired a management company and later found out a tenant had been making and using methamphetamine in her home.
“There was equipment outside and inside that was highly explosive,” she said. “It was devastating.”
McCarty had the home tested multiple times, revealing extremely high levels of meth contamination in every room. She said some of those companies told her they would never be able to bring it to state standards and advised her to sell the home or demolish it.
“I sold it fully disclosed, fully contaminated, to what I thought would be a builder to level it and build something else,” she said.
Instead, she said they encapsulated the meth to state standards before flipping the house for a big profit.
“So they sealed it in, and then sold it months later for hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they bought it for, and they sold it undisclosed,” McCarty said.
Meth contamination not disclosed to homebuyers
McCarty believes that the buyer had no idea what they were purchasing, a situation Jennifer Herrera found herself in after buying a home in Littleton in March 2020.
“We discovered methamphetamine pipe, pieces of it, out in the backyard and then up in this attic space,” she said.
Herrera said the home passed inspection, but previous meth contamination was never disclosed, despite calls to the home by police for drug activity.
“Because it wasn’t disclosed to us, we weren’t able to make that decision: Do we still want to purchase this home or not? Knowing that it’s been contaminated with meth,” she said.
Meth database could be public law
A new bill making its way through the state legislature could change that after McCarty reached out to state Sen. Lisa Cutter with her story.
Senate Bill 23-148, sponsored by Cutter, would require the state to “create a public database of buildings that have been used as illegal drug laboratories. A building must be removed from the database five years after the property has been decontaminated.”
The bill will be heard by the Senate Finance committee on March 28.
It would also require the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to inspect meth remediation companies at least once every three years to ensure they’re meeting proper standards.
“It’s become a gift for me to take something totally devastating and turn it into something good,” McCarty said.