The use and manufacturing of methamphetamine (“meth” or “P”) by tenants in rental properties is not just a fictional problem from the hit TV series Breaking Bad. Meth is now a growing problem in New Zealand. It is an issue that has been attracting increasing attention in the legal world and here at Goldman Legal, we are starting to see the reality of this issue play out in property transactions.
The use and manufacture of meth in properties can result in toxic residue on carpets, walls, ceilings and chattels and the cost of decontaminating a meth affected property can be in the tens of thousands. The reaction of banks in these circumstances is currently unknown.
In addition, the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 states that landlords have a duty to provide a clean property to tenants which means if landlords rent out a property that is contaminated by meth, they are breaching their obligations pursuant to the Act.
Standards New Zealand has also started developing a standard on the testing and remediation of properties affected by the use or manufacture of meth and you can find more information about these here.
We are aware that building inspection companies are starting to offer meth testing as part of the services they provide and we now advise clients to consider meth testing as part of their due diligence investigation before purchasing a property. You may also wish to consider meth testing your rental property between tenants to ensure you can comply with your obligations as a landlord.
Please contact us if you require further information about the implications of the use and manufacture of meth in your rental property.