Higher meth test levels for REA

Friday 8 June 2018

Real estate agents now only have to tell potential buyers if a property has a meth contamination reading of 15 micrograms per 100cm2 or above.

They do not have to disclose any confirmed meth contamination results below 15 micrograms per 100cm2 unless they are asked.

The Real Estate Authority (REA) has issued the new disclosure guidelines for agents in the wake of Sir Peter Gluckman’s bombshell report.

Gluckman found there was no evidence third-hand exposure to smoked meth residue posed health risks and suggested the introduction of much higher testing levels (15 micrograms per 100cm2 as opposed to 1.5 micrograms per 100cm2).

REA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith says meth contamination of 15 micrograms or above will be considered a property defect that must be disclosed to potential buyers.

“This position reflects the findings in the Gluckman report which have bought much-needed clarity to an extremely fraught area.”

Gluckman’s report also said meth testing was only necessary if there was a strong suspicion or advice from police that a property had been used as a meth lab or for extremely heavy meth use,

Lampen-Smith says that means the chance of buying a house with risky levels of meth contamination is very low.

“It is highly unlikely that 40% of New Zealand properties are contaminated as has been reported previously.”

But people looking to buy property should always ask their real estate agent if they are concerned about methamphetamine contamination, Lampen-Smith adds.

“We strongly encourage people to ask lots of questions when buying a property. If you are worried about potential meth contamination because you suspect the property was used as a meth lab, ask your lawyer to include a satisfactory meth test as a condition of your offer.”

The new guidance and the findings in the report will not alter previous decisions made by the regulator’s Complaints Assessment Committees or the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal (READT).

Read more:

Tackling meth uncertainty 

Proceed with caution on meth 

Meth relief for landlords 

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