A tenant has been told to pay her former landlord $7692 for damage to a Taupō rental property, including significant methamphetamine contamination.

CMMC Holdings took Rachel Ford to the Tenancy Tribunal over the tenancy at Taharepa Rd, which ended at the end of February.

The landlord wanted her to pay rent arrears, for general cleaning, power charges and for methamphetamine testing and cleaning. There was no test for methamphetamine contamination at the start of the tenancy but the Tenancy Tribunal said it was likely Ford had caused it. 

During the tenancy, she was in prison for two weeks and, when she had moved out, drug bags allegedly for methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found in the fireplace.

A comprehensive test taken at the end of the tenancy showed extremely high levels of methamphetamine.

In the lounge, it reached 45mcg per 100 square metres. 

The New Zealand standard sets out that premises are damaged from chemical contamination when the level reaches 1.5 mcg.

But after that standard was established, a 2018 report to the Prime Minister from the chief science adviser said a safe level for contamination from smoking, not manufacture, should be 15mcg.

The tribunal said, because the lounge was well over that standard, the house was damaged. Other rooms were contaminated to nearly that level.

The Tenancy Tribunal ruled that Ford should pay the overdue rent, just over $500 for cleaning, $6119 for methamphetamine cleaning, $335 for power charges and $600 as exemplary damages fir allowing the premises to be used for an unlawful purpose.

New Zealand Property Investors Federation executive officer Andrew King said methamphetamine contamination was still a difficult issue for investors.

“We’re not exactly sure what we are meant to be doing. The Government hasn’t come out with proper guidelines.”

He said it had been indicated that testing was unnecessary. But if a high level was later discovered, and there were indications of manufacture, removing the contamination would be an expensive and difficult job.


SOURCE STUFF 10:05, Jun 11 2019