In March 2018 I did an article under the heading: TO TEST OR NOT TO TEST THAT IS THE QUESTION?
Since then we have had the Gluckman report which has sent the industry into a spin.
Housing NZ and the Real Estate Agents Authority have adopted the level of 15 micrograms/100cm2 for their business model.
But, the Tenancy Tribunal has not accepted this level and therefore as landlords you need to obey the law. What does this mean?
Our recommendation is to test and keep on testing until the law changes. There are many who are lobbying for the change but we need to make sure that our tenants’ health is protected.
So please don’t be alarmed, but be aware that methamphetamine and other drugs are becoming an increasing problem for rental properties.
Quinovic Viaduct and Quinovic Parnell have a policy in place to help manage this threat on behalf of our owners.
We test 2–4 days before your tenancy starts. This creates a baseline for future tests.
We include the test results as part of your tenancy agreement and make sure you get the tenant to sign a copy to ensure they understand and acknowledge they have been advised of the test and the results of the testing.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide a clean, tidy and safe home for your tenants, therefore completing the test is your way of meeting your requirements under tenancy law.
If you don’t complete a test prior to the tenant’s arrival you could find it very difficult to prove that the contamination of the house/apartment was due to the current tenant.
If during a tenancy there is contamination found, the house/apartment automatically becomes uninhabitable and the tenancy must end immediately. The tenant must vacate and their tenancy agreement ends.
As a landlord, you are not responsible to supply any alternative accommodation, but it’s always good to help if you can.
The tenant may apply to the tenancy tribunal for a refund of all rent paid if they can prove the apartment/house was contaminated prior to their arrival, and this has occurred more than once in New Zealand.
Whilst we don’t wish to frighten anyone from being a landlord, it shows how important it is to engage the services of a professional property management company like Quinovic Viaduct and Quinovic Parnell to ensure you meet your legal responsibilities.