Saskatchewan realtors are demanding a new registry to make sure that a buyer's dream home doesn’t turn out to be their worst nightmare.

'The buyer needs to be able to make that decision based on information they have' - Bill Madder 

The Association of Saskatchewan Realtors is calling for a public registry of homes that have been used to produce illegal drugs. The association’s CEO Bill Madder said that buyers deserve to know if a home was used to grow marijuana, or to produce hard drugs like methamphetamine.  

"The buyer needs to be able to make that decision based on information that they have. If they are aware of it and still want to buy it, that's great.”

Realtors suggest that there are some 200 properties that are known drug production sites in Saskatchewan. Using a home as a grow-op for marijuana or a drug lab can leave it filled with mould and toxic residues and gasses.

The problem, according to Madder is that those problems often will remain hidden away by a coat of fresh paint until long after a new owner has moved into the home.  

"It's something that might show up, certainly with the issue of mold or high humidity that sort of thing, might show up a year later or something and it might just be covered up so you can't find it."

Realtors suggest two-step solution

Realtors are asking the provincial government to back a public grow-op registry, and for the development of remediation standards that would have to be followed before a home used to produce drugs can be deemed fit to live in again.  

A government statement released Wednesday afternoon said it received the request from the association and will review it. 

"We understand that meth labs and grow-op houses are a real concern for home buyers," the statement said. "In our view these concerns are best dealt with currently by local police services and home inspectors directly involved at the municipal level. This is the approach taken for remediation of flood or fire damaged homes and we would need to determine why this approach is inappropriate for this context."

The government statement said that the RCMP already has a program in place in the province and it provides the kind of online listing the association is requesting.