Methamphetamine testing

Hammond and co Meth testing

Detection & Contamination

There are no current laws surrounding methamphetamine testing in residential properties in New Zealand, but it is still vital for landlords to assess the risk factors surrounding this issue.

At Hammond & Co, we pride ourselves on finding an excellent tenant for your property and implement a thorough vetting process before proceeding with a residential tenancy agreement. As a precaution, we still recommend all property owners carry out a baseline test in their premises, both before and after a tenancy.

Hammond and co Meth testing

Whether or not an insurance company will cover potential damages will depend entirely on a landlord’s insurance policy. Conducting a baseline test with a negative result before a new tenancy will ensure financial liability is not put on the landlord if a tenancy ends and a positive test is returned.

It also ensures a safe home for new tenants. Landlords and property managers are obligated to provide both a healthy and habitable environment for their tenants. Without carrying out regular tests between tenancies, you are at risk of failing to meet these obligations.

Contamination And Testing

Methamphetamine, also known as ‘P’ or ‘ice’, is a prohibited and class A controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Properties can face potential contamination from methamphetamine residue if the drug is manufactured or smoked within a house.

As well as financial risks, this can lead to serious health complications for anyone residing in a contaminated dwelling. Contamination is more prevalent in the event a property is used as a meth lab. While the risks are there, the chances of this happening are still extremely low.

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand, an independent Unit within The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is responsible for managing the development of methamphetamine decontamination and testing standards.

New Zealand Standard 8510:2017 addresses potential sources of methamphetamine contamination alongside testing, decontamination, and procedure reliability. It is the most up-to-date standard, published in June, 2017.

The standard is specifically designed to aide property owners, tenants, local authorities, and industry professionals. It features expert knowledge and input from public health authorities, insurance providers, local authorities, and those involved in testing and decontaminating properties.

Key Takeaways

A property is considered contaminated if methamphetamine levels exceed 1.5μg/100 cm2.

After contamination has occurred and needs to be treated, Standard 8510 categorises the decontamination of a property into two areas — high use areas and limited use areas. Each have their own requirements for what is deemed safe after decontamination.

High use areas
Safe levels: 1.5μg/100 cm2 or less

This is an area within a property that is regularly used by both adults and children and one that is easily accessible. These areas also include the likes of wardrobes and garages, which are frequently in use.

Any decontamination carried out in accordance with Standard 8510 must lower methamphetamine levels to 1.5μg/100 cm2 or less before the property can be safely inhabited and a clearance certificate is issued.

Limited use areas
Safe levels: 3.8μg/100 cm2

These areas are ones that adults are likely to access, but only for short periods of time, such as ceiling cavities and crawl spaces. Any decontamination carried out in accordance with Standard 8510 must lower these levels to 3.8μg/100 cm2 or less to be considered safe for the property’s inhabitants.

How can Hammond & Co help?

Before and after a tenancy, Hammond & Co can help you arrange the appropriate methamphetamine testing for your property. For any questions or concerns you may have about how methamphetamine could impact your property or the type of insurance you should sign up for, we highly recommend you touch base with one of our property managers.

For more information and to view the full standards for the testing and decontamination of methamphetamine contaminated properties, please visit the official Standards New Zealand website to view New Zealand Standard 8510:2017.

Please be aware that all information in this document, including information related to New Zealand Standard 8510, is correct as of August 2023 and subject to change in the future.

We advise all property owners to talk to their property manager directly to ensure no further changes have been implemented.

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