Chapman Upchurchcleanproperty owners

Changes in Meth Testing Rules for Property Owners

Tenancy Services states that landlords must provide a clean property, and that both landlords and tenants should check for any signs of ‘P’ before a property is rented.

If the landlord does not check and rents out a contaminated property, they breach their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, the Building Act and the Health Act.

According to a recent blog by Quinovic, the Tenancy Tribunal is beginning to expect landlords to have completed a meth test prior to signing up any new tenancy.

This is on the grounds that it is part of the owner’s responsibility to provide the property in a reasonably clean and reasonably tidy state.

This is an important interpretation because if a meth test is not completed prior to the start of a tenancy then any subsequent positive test cannot be blamed on that tenant.

And without proof of a clean test the Tribunal may order the landlord to repay the tenant all the rent, plus the bond, accrued during that tenancy.
This repayment scenario has already occurred more than once where landlords have failed to commission a pre-tenancy check.

Recently the government released new standards for methamphetamine (meth) testing and contamination for residential properties.

The new Standard is called ‘Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties’, and is designed to provide guidance on reducing people’s risks of exposure to harm caused by the presence of meth contamination in properties. This also includes sheds, garages, vehicles, boats, mobile homes and storage facilities.

A PDF copy of the Standard is available from the Standards NZ website.

Feel free to contact us for more information or to discuss how this affects you.