Compulsory Meth Testing

PRE TESTING = PROTECTION

As part of our service and commitment to providing you with effective and up to date information beHome Realty have decided to take the unprecedented and bold step of compulsory Methamphetamine testing of all our NEW rental properties and IN BETWEEN current tenancies.

This decision has come from the undisputed fact that Methamphetamine has had a huge social impact on our society over the past 10 years and could pose a serious threat to the value of your asset/s.

In order to PROTECT you as the owner and ensure your INVESTMENT holds its value we feel this is a vital tool in shielding you and your property from possible losses.

The testing costs $189.00 - $259.00 + GST for 3-4 bedroom homes, and would be conducted by an independent company and processed by an accredited laboratory with results being processed and sent to us within 48 HOURS.

Some common questions you may be asking yourselves right now are:

1. Why should I test for Meth?
2. Why should I have to pay for the testing?
3. What happens if Meth is found?
4. What are the repercussions to me as the owner and or to the tenants?

… Here are the facts!

1. Why should I test for Meth?

If Meth is found during a tenancy… as the landlord this is where the REAL threat to you is.

I will later detail some specific facts about Meth but here is what can happen under the Residential Tenancy Act 1986 Rules and Regulations:

  • Section 38 – the landlord would be deemed to have caused interference with the tenants peace, privacy and comfort of the property – FINE UP TO $2,000
  • Section 45 - the landlord would be deemed to have failed under their responsibilities to provide a healthy and safe home – FINE UP TO $3,000
  • Section 59a – where a landlord has breached the tenancy by providing an uninhabitable property the RENT STOPS AUTOMATICALLY. Also as the landlord we CANNOT GIVE NOTICE to end the tenancy. This means the tenant can live rent free at the property until they decide to leave or finds alternative accommodation which could be months.
  • The courts may also award a rent refund to the tenant i.e. 6 months rent!
  • The courts may also award compensation for stress and emotional damage.

Now you may be saying “But we never knew it was there…” Unfortunately this does not matter. As the landlord you are required to provide a safe, healthy and habitable home for tenants. A recent example is from the NZ Herald where tenants were awarded $7,525.00 in damages.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1162...

“This is the main reason a negative base test is required before a tenancy starts so the LIABILITY is not on you”

2. Why should you pay? 

As the landlord we NEED TO ESTABLISH a baseline reading for any new tenancy. This is to show the property reads NEGATIVE for Meth. This then allows us to demonstrate that the home is a safe and habitable property for the new tenants.

3. What happens if Meth is found?

Provided the positive reading is found at the start of or in between a new tenancy then we simply have the property cleaned and re tested back to negative. This cost can vary between $500.00 - $1000.00 for low readings and is really a small price to pay compared to the possibility of compensation payments to the tenant!

4. What are the repercussions for the tenant?

If a negative baseline test is established at the start of the tenancy, and then a positive reading is found either throughout or at the end of that tenancy, then the cost for CLEANING AND REINSTATEMENT is that of the TENANTS. The testing will still be your cost. This is the same procedure as with any damages found at the end of the tenancy, where we can prove they resulted from the tenant’s actions or behaviour.

Therefore, with knowing what you know now, is $189.00 + GST once a year worth the risk of $5,000+ loss? We don’t think it is. And that is why we are strongly advocating compulsory testing at the start & end of every tenancy.

Facts and Implementation:

beHome Realty Ltd employ Meth Testing NZ to conduct independent qualified testing. Here is the website link - http://www.methtestingnz.co.nz/

INITIAL TESTING will supply us with a positive or negative cumulative reading. From this reading we will be able to either move forward with the tenancy or take the necessary steps to have the property cleaned and re tested to negative.

If a positive reading is gained we have further options to find exactly which area is contaminated so we can direct cleaning to this one area.

The testing includes direct testing for Methamphetamine (where the substance has usually been smoked inside the property) but also for pseudoephedrine and other related chemicals used in manufacturing.

The WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATIONS recommended health limit is 0.5ug/100cm² meaning any reading below this is deemed to be at a safe level and habitable.

Most positive tests will have a reading between 0.5 – 3.0. This is for low to moderate usage in the home by way of smoking.

CLEANING is most the most common form of removal for low reading cases. Typically a three layered cleaning process is used to remove, scrub and sanitize the surface. 

We realise this is a lot of information for you so please feel free to call your property agent to discuss more in depth.

IMPLEMENTATION OF TESTING

Testing when the property becomes available for rent or when you sign up a new property.

For all new properties, testing will be carried out regardless of being a new build or renovated home.

To show our commitment for the need for this testing there is NO CHARGE OR COMMISSION taken on this process.

Results remain the property of the owner and beHome Realty Ltd, and are subject to the rules and requirements of the Privacy Act 1993.

FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION PLEASE CALL 0800 BEHOME
Or email to josh@behomerealty.co.nz

PRE TESTING = PROTECTION

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