Meth update

Update on Meth testing

You would have read and heard all about the "Gluckman Report" talking about meth in rental houses. It actually has not changed anything yet.

In the report Gluckman suggests that the "allowable" limit before a house becomes uninhabitable is raised from 1.5 (micrograms per 100 cm2) to 15. He said this is because the risk of 3rd hand exposure does not pose a risk.

There are some issues around this:
  • The law is still at the 1.5 level (nothing has changed there yet) - if tests show it is above this level it is illegal to have anybody living in the house (i.e. uninhabitable)
  • Unless you do a test how do you know if there is or isn't meth in the house - you cannot tell by looking or smelling
  • Even if the law changes to the higher level of 15 - how do you know if there is or isn't meth in the house - yes it is much more unlikely to be over this level - but you still don't know
What are the consequences of not testing before a new tenant moves in:
  • If the property comes back with a positive meth result later on, e.g. when the next tenant moves out - who can you blame? The answer is nobody because you cannot prove any particular lot of tenants.
  • If you do get a positive result after the next tenants, then because you cannot prove it was them, they can claim that we put them into a house that was uninhabitable. The tenancy tribunal has ruled on this in several cases, and the landlord has had to refund all the rent paid by the tenant - imagine if that is after 12 months.

Hamilton Property Management recommends that a meth screening test is done before and between all tenancy changes.