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Meth Contamination Remains An Issue

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If your rental property was found to be contaminated by methamphetamine consumed by tenants, would your insurer pay out?

Sir Peter Gluckman’s Chief Science Advisor 2018 report suggested meth contamination should be recognised as beginning at 15ug (micrograms) per 100cm2. However, the property industry has for years known that just one tenth of that contamination level should be the maximum, which is why the New Zealand Standard of 1.5ug per 100cm2 remains as the benchmark for unacceptable meth contamination, here and around the world.

From a tenancy law angle:

  • Tenants who smoke meth in a rental property are offending under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.
  • Tenants who smoke, sell or manufacture meth in a rental property are breaching the Residential Tenancies Act.
  • Such tenants are also breaching their obligation to not intentionally or carelessly damage the property.
  • The Tenancy Tribunal may order tenants who have used a rental property for an unlawful purpose to pay a penalty of up to $1,000.

Forensic Meth Services says great reasons to test are:

  • Deterrent for un-wanted meth users
  • Landlords keeping up with their obligations under the RTA
  • Any insurer being asked to pay out on a contaminated property is going to want samples taken with something much better than a cotton swab, which is why FMS prepares the data required for legal cases
  • Tenancy Services has recommended that landlords deciding whether to take a meth-related claim to the Tenancy Tribunal consider both the current New Zealand standard and the CSA report.
  • Because currently, DIY tests are only required to pick up levels equal to or above 1.05µg per 100cm 2. Forensic Meth Services testing, however, is extremely sensitive and shows up residue to a level as low as 0.02µg.

To get what’s best for your rental property today, call FMS on 0800 005 460, or talk to Rentals.co.