Meth report bombshell: what it means

Monday 23 July 2018

The Gluckman report on meth contamination says third hand exposure to meth is not a health risk – but what does that mean for worried investors?

By The Landlord

Investors have long listed the risks – and potential costs - posed by meth contamination to rental properties as one of their biggest concerns.

As a result, over recent years, meth testing and decontamination has cost landlords dearly, with millions of dollars paid out to combat the scourge of meth.

But, back in May, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman released a game-changing report into the health risks of third hand exposure to meth in residential properties.

The report found that where meth has been used – rather than manufactured – it poses an extremely low, if not negligible, health risk.

It also suggested the revision of the current testing regime and the introduction of much higher testing levels (15 micrograms per 100cm2 as opposed to 1.5 micrograms per 100cm2).

Sir Peter even told media that he couldn’t see the point in testing properties suspected of contamination due to meth use at all, although he says meth manufacture is a different story.

The Gluckman report has had a bombshell effect and many investors were left outraged that they had unnecessarily spent large amounts on meth decontamination or sold properties at a lower value than warranted.

Since then, Housing NZ has announced it will now apply Sir Peter’s recommended level of 15 to the testing and decontaminating of its properties.

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

But while the report came as a relief to many investors, it also left many confused as to what it means going forward.

That’s because while Sir Peter may have called for a new meth testing regime, with higher levels and tighter regulations for the testing industry, no such regime exists yet.

So in this month’s issue of NZ Property Investor magazine, we take a look at the post-Gluckman report environment to find out what investors now need to know.

We look at how the Government, the Tenancy Tribunal and the insurance industry have responded to date; the status of the existing standard; and what investor advocates and property managers have to say about the situation.

To read more about what the Gluckman report means for investors, click here to get the digital issue of NZ Property Investor magazine.

Subscribe to NZ Property Investor magazine here to get great stories like this delivered to your mailbox every month.

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