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APIA vice president Peter Lewis
Landlords should continue to tread carefully when it comes to the spectre of meth contamination – despite the release of the game-changing Gluckman report.
By Miriam Bell
Fear of meth contamination has had New Zealand firmly in its grip in recent years and that’s led to the rise of the meth testing and cleaning industry which has cost many landlords dearly.
So the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman’s, report into meth contamination houses, which found there are no health risks from third-hand exposure to meth, has had a bombshell effect.
Housing NZ announced it was changing its approach to the testing and decontaminating of its properties, while the NZ Property Investors Federation welcomed the report but noted the high costs involved for many to date.
Minister of Housing Phil Twyford says the report provides a scientific basis for acceptable levels of meth in the New Zealand context and that, along with the 2017 meth standard, it will contribute to any new regulations made under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2).
That Bill will soon have its second reading in Parliament and Twyford expects there will be a public consultation document on meth regulations ready later this year.
But it is important for landlords to realise that, while change may be in the air, the levels set by the NZS 8510: 2017 standard remain in place.
Sir Peter’s report might call for a new meth testing regime, with higher levels properly based on risk, and with tighter regulations for the testing industry – but no such regime exists yet.
Auckland Property Investors Association vice-president Peter Lewis says landlords should continue to be careful and take sensible precautions with their rental properties.
The report shows a sea-change in views on meth contamination and is likely to be a game-changer for public perceptions of the issue, but it remains to be seen what will happen in real terms, he says.
“In my view, the real test will be how the Tenancy Tribunal deals with the report. There are likely to be some meth contamination cases coming up soon and how the adjudicators respond to them now will set the bar on the issue going forward.”
Existing insurance requirements around meth and rental properties also need to be taken into account and that means testing at the beginning and end of tenancies is still advisable, he says.
“The report isn’t going to change anything in the short term, especially as many people will remain wary of……….
Continue reading this article at the original source from Landlords.co.nz
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