Your obligations as an owner of a methamphetamine contaminated property

According to Auckland Council if they have received evidence that your property has been used to manufacture methamphetamine, they will instruct you to test the property and decontaminate it, if necessary. 

This means if the police have busted a lab or the fire brigade have been alerted then a Cleansing Order will be issued and the council will be notified along with you, the property owner. You will have a certain number of days to rectify the situation as outlined by the Council in the paperwork they send you.

How to arrange testing of your property

Testing of the property should be carried out by contractors who are:

  • qualified
  • equipped
  • experienced to perform hazardous tasks.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) advises that professionals who assess and test a property must operate independently of commercial decontamination (remediation) companies. This means you’re in safe hands with Meth Wise.

The NZ Standard for testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties sets out how to test and decontaminate your property.

The standard requires that you vacate and decontaminate the property. If you have tenants you need to make sure they leave the property.

Insurance

Do you have property insurance for your rental? This is 100% important when you are renting out your investment property. Up-to-date and experienced Property Managers know that getting a pre-tenancy meth test will SAVE landlords thousands of dollars during the remediation of a contaminated property. It’s not a matter if meth contamination will happen, it’s a matter of when.

Insurance companies will normally pay out once they have evidence that your Pre-tenancy meth test was non-detect (for methamphetamine) BEFORE your tenants moved in, and AFTER they have evidence that contamination now exists as per the Detailed Assessment. – This is why it is imperative you have a pre-tenancy meth test performed before each tenancy!

Usually landlords will have to foot the bill for the testing up until AFTER the Detailed Assessment has taken place. This can cost anywhere up to $2k for a three bedroom house. However, after exact rooms and locations are identified as being above the 1.5ug/100cm sq guideline value, your insurance company may pay for the rest, which can include:

  • removal of all soft furnishings, associated chemicals, rubbish
  • removal or carpet, curtains, bedding and disposal of all as contaminated waste
  • decontamination contractors (clean, sand, and sometimes re-paint)
  • post-decontamination assessment and testing
  • clearance certificate

Therefore it is a no-brainer to have a pre-tenancy meth test done prior to each tenancy. A simple meth test costs $279 + GST that’s the price of 3 tanks of fuel, 56 coffees, a pair of new running shoes, or a pair of winter jeans!

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