Methamphetamine - managing the risk

As a landlord, it's important to know your responsibilities around methamphetamine contamination - both for your tenants' safety, and to ensure that you're adequately covered.

Meth contaminated properties have been generating headlines, and for landlords, their presence is a potential concern. While the scale of the problem is unknown, those who end up owning a meth contaminated property could face losses in several areas.

What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, commonly known as 'P' or crystal meth, is a toxic and addictive drug. Side effects of its use can include mood swings, paranoia, aggression, anxiety and insomnia. Extended periods of exposure to the drug can lead to chronic health effects including cancers, brain damage, liver and kidney damage and birth defects.

What is the issue for landlords?

Rental properties can become contaminated when tenants recreationally use or manufacture meth on the premises.
The contamination levels vary depending on the situation - manufacturing or 'cooking' meth can result in homes needing to be stripped and cleaned.
Our property managers take the risk of contamination seriously. We encourage landlords to be vigilant in having their properties tested if there is any suspicion that there could be any traces of meth from previous owners or tenants.

What do I do if I suspect my property is P contaminated?

If you have any suspicions that your rental property could have once contained a meth lab or user, don't take chances. Put yourself and your family in your tenants'shoes.
If you'd like to arrange for your property to be tested, talk to your property manager about the right method for you.
Bear in mind, if a landlord rents out a property that is contaminated, they are breaching their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, as well as other legislation such as the Building Act and the Health Act.