The following is an open letter to Oracle Property Management clients regarding a meth testing and prevention program which we highly recommend.
Dear OPM friends and clients,
Keeping true to our motto of prevention is always better than cure, we are pleased to offer a new essential service to our owners.
Meth manufacturing in rental properties has been rising, with some estimates that there may be as many as 30,000 illegal meth labs around New Zealand.
Every rental property owner is obliged to provide properties that are in a reasonable state of cleanliness and renting out a contaminated property is in breach of Section 45(1)(a) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA).
Aside from meeting legal requirements, is that if meth is manufactured and used in properties the clean-up costs can be very high. Some three bedroom houses are reportedly costing over $80,000 to remedy.
The property can also be noted as a meth positive property on the council LIM, permanently impacting the property’s value.
Our intention is to prevent this from ever happening, so we have negotiated a special bulk rate for a prevention program which we are now offering to you.
As of August 2015, OPM is offering to facilitate methamphetamine testing of properties at a cost $55 + GST per test.
For the best protection we recommend testing with our inspection schedule. This is because the sooner meth is detected the lower the levels of contamination and cost.
To cover landlord requirements under the act, testing can be done at the end of a tenancy. It should be remembered that some tenancies can extend for years, and costs of repair will in many cases be difficult to recover from tenants. This is why we recommend testing with the inspection schedule.
Please also note that this cost is tax deductible.
The testing can be used in different ways
(1)Start of the first tenancy in the property
(2)Ongoing testing that will form part of each interim inspection
(3)End of tenancy testing (this also serves as the test for the start of the next tenancy)
Each test is carried out in the same 3 points selected in the house to ensure consistency and testing to the NZ acceptable standards. The results are apparent immediately and will be reported as part of the inspection reports you receive.
Ads for new tenants, and tenant contracts will notify tenants clearly that a testing program is followed. It is expected that methamphetamine users would avoid properties which are certainly going to expose their drug use.
As well as a significant deterrent for use and manufacturing of Methamphetamine, testing is a proactive approach to dealing with an increasing problem and will encourage quality tenants into our properties knowing they are safe to live in.
We recommend that this program is one which you implement.
Whilst no-one likes the cost and it is additional work for managers the money cost and emotional impact of finding that you have a meth contaminated property are very high.
Meth use is in no way restricted to lower socio-economic housing.
Where to from here?
Those who wish to proactively implement a testing program will have a simple 1 page form to complete/return detailing how you wish to utilize the testing.
Please contact us here to arrange this