The RTA Amendment Bill No. 2 will soon be returned to Parliament and will pass. There are things we know and things we do not. Despite the knowledge gaps, the significance of this Bill should not be lost on Landlords.

In simple terms, if you do not know the meth status of your property, then there is a high likelihood of finding yourself in breach of regulations. The potential for compensating people you know, but cannot prove, were responsible for contaminating your home is real.

Meth use alone will contaminate property

Known and Unknown

In this Bill, we know meth will be defined as a contaminant. What we don’t know, is the level of meth residues above which a property will be defined as contaminated.

Regardless of the number that is selected, Landlords and their property management advisors need to be aware of the following:

  1. Landlords will need to comply with the regulation
  2. A Landlord will be in breach of the regulation if they knowingly provide a contaminated property – there is already precedent for Landlords being held financially accountable because they unknowingly supplied contaminated properties
  3. A landlord must stop making a property available that is contaminated, unless it is being decontaminated – if they continue to do so, they will be in breach of the regulations
  4. A landlord will not be obliged to compensate tenants where it can be shown that the tenant was responsible for the contamination – the flip side of this, is that they will be required to compensate tenants where they cannot prove it was the tenant who was responsible

How will it work?

Under the Bill, the Minister responsible gets to select a number that identifies a property as contaminated. They also get to establish the basis on which that contamination is determined.

This is effectively what NZS8510:2017 does. However, the government has invested so much in discrediting NZS8510:2017, it is highly unlikely this standard will be used by the Minister to establish the basis for moving things forward. Frustrating for those who have spent thousands in accreditation against the standard. But a reflection of the politics that surround this issue.

How do you get certainty around service provision?

History has shown that anybody can become a meth tester. And in an industry where every dollar is counted, the temptation is to go with the person who walks through the door offering the cheapest price.

The changes coming into force through this Bill, will place clear obligations on Landlords and their advisors. Effective management of risk, will be achieved by choosing to work with businesses who have a demonstrated track record, not simply the cheapest price.

Our investments in systems and processes that provide certainty have been extensive. As a result, we are able to deliver effective and efficient services to our clients. And we back it up with knowledge and experience. Our history and track record is unmatched. Our services consistent.

Give our team a call to discuss how we can help you reduce risks associated with meth affected property and compliance.