Should you still meth test your property?
Are buyers still meth testing? Chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman has said we no longer need to bother meth testing in homes. This is good for several reasons:
- It will save property investors some money, since last year we were recommending testing between each tenancy based on what we knew then.
- Investors whose properties contain trace amounts of methamphetamine will no longer require any costly clean-up. They no longer need to worry about slight contamination harming anyone’s health.
- It frees up more properties to be rented for tenants, hopefully increasing the rental pool.
However, it’s worth noting that the NZ Standard for methamphetamine contamination remains at 1.5 micrograms, despite Housing NZ having publicly abandoned this standard. It seems the Tenancy Tribunal and MBIE is still using the Standard, which is highly confusing for everyone. In theory, a tenant could still get a 1.5-plus test on a property, declare it uninhabitable and move out immediately, taking you to the Tribunal. It could also potentially cause insurance issues for property owners. We’re optimistic that this contrary advice will be ironed out soon, but in the meantime it’s worth speaking to your insurer about what it might mean for your cover.
Luckily, Impression hasn’t yet had to deal with any of these issues and no methamphetamine has been found in any of our properties. But we are still vigilant for signs of its use and manufacture – we would inform any owner immediately if we had reason to suspect either of these.