Eagerly awaited meth standard delayed

Thursday 30 March 2017

Meth contamination remains a hot topic but landlords will have to wait longer to find out what the official testing and remediation levels will be set at.

By Miriam Bell

Tales of meth contaminated rental properties continue to make headlines but there is a growing awareness that the extent of the problem may have been overstated.

For example, a recent Initio Insurance analysis of claim statistics, done for the Auckland Property Investors Association, revealed that meth contamination only makes up about 3% of overall claim numbers.

It also showed that meth contamination costs come in at around 6% of overall insurance claim costs.

However, the prospect of meth contamination remains a genuine concern for most landlords – not the least because of widespread confusion when it comes to testing and remediation.

And now it seems that landlords will have to wait longer for clarity in that area, with news that the much-anticipated new testing and remediation standard has been held up.

Standards NZ principal advisor Bruce Taylor confirmed that the new standard’s release has been delayed from the original date at the end of April.

This is because of the huge number of comments that the committee received on the draft standard released for public consultation, he said.

“We did expect a lot of comments because the issue is one of such interest and concern to many people, but the number received was much higher than anticipated.”

The committee is now working its way through the 1,200 plus comments received and it is difficult to say how long that might take, Taylor said.

“It’s likely that the new standard will not be released till May, or even June.”

Once the standard is published, supplementary handbooks providing practical information on the remediation of properties are likely to be produced to accompany it.

Meanwhile, insurance giant IAG recently released an e-book on meth contamination, which offers advice and tips for people unsure of what to do in different circumstances.

It is also introducing policy wording changes to ensure consistency and clarity on levels of cover for property owners.

Read more:

Insurer tackles meth contamination confusion 

Draft meth standard released 

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