IN THIS ISSUE Tenancy Agreement Clauses | Landlord Liability | Landlord Obligations
METH XPERT NZ RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT
Methamphetamine Contamination Clauses
The Residential Tenancies Act is Law from tomorrow the 27th of August 2019.
It means that if you have not met your obligations under this Act, you may be liable for damages and costs.
With the absence of any Methamphetamine Regulations (currently being developed by Government), Landlords and tenants alike must protect themselves from the increased risk. There are currently two consultation documents used by Tenancy Services and the Tenancy Tribunal, which unfortunately have very contrasting opinions. Insurance companies and lending institutes still enforce the more precautionary approach of NZS8510:2017, however it appears the Tenancy Tribunal are prepared to allow illegal activity in a landlords property by enforcing the more relaxed approach of the Prime Ministers Chief Science Advisors report
What we do know, is that you cannot contract yourself out of the Residential Tenancies Act. What we can do, is provide some definition to the acceptable levels of methamphetamine in which constitutes intentional damage. This is done by way of inclusion of additional clauses within the Residential Tenancy Agreement, to ensure a landlords property is protected by setting out the terms within the agreement.
Landlords and Property Managers can be fined for placing tenants in contaminated properties
The Residential Tenancies Act outlines:
Landlords must not knowingly provide a contaminated property, if tests have been conducted in accordance with prescribed methods set out within regulations set under section 138C. The problem is, we don’t know what these methods or regulations will prescribe yet.
Tenants must not use the rental property for the manufacture or use of illegal substances. If they do, the liability lies with them.
Using, selling or manufacturing methamphetamine in a rental property is using the property for an unlawful purpose. This is a breach of the Residential Tenancies Act. If they breach this, the tenant is liable.
Methamphetamine Contamination is considered Intentional Damage. A Landlord must be able to prove that the contamination was caused during the tenants occupancy. If a Pre - Post Methamphetamine Test was not conducted, any claim for damages will be dismissed. The liability rests with the Landlord.
Watch here to see who holds the liability.
To understand more about your Liability, click to watch the video
The problem lies in providing sufficient proof of illegal activity to the tribunal
To manage your risk, the below clauses are drafted principally for insertion as additional terms in a Residential Tenancy Agreement specifically related to contamination.
Please renumber any clauses appropriately when inserting them into a Residential Tenancy Agreement
Methamphetamine Contamination Clauses
1.1 The Tenant acknowledges and agrees that the Tenant is prohibited from using (Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, Section 7) or storing, or allowing third parties to use (Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, Section 12) or store, illegal substances on the property. A failure to adhere to this term may result in the termination of this tenancy being sought by the Landlord.
1.2 The Tenant agrees that:
(a) The granting of this agreement is conditional on the landlord testing the property for methamphetamine and/or other illegal substances prior to possession being given and occupancy by the Tenant; and
(b) Should the results of the methamphetamine and/or other illegal substances test show that the property is contaminated at a level above the levels prescribed within NZS8510:2017 then the Tenant agrees that the tenancy shall not proceed and this agreement will be null and void.
1.3 The Tenant and landlord agree that in the absence of regulations under section 138(C) of the residential tenancies act 1986. Any individual discreet swab analysis exceeding the prescribed limits within NZS8510:2017, undertaken by a qualified sampler in accordance with section (7) NZS8510:2017, shall be considered intentional damage under this agreement.
1.4 The tenant acknowledges that the landlord may test the property for methamphetamine and/or other illegal substances during the tenancy given the required notice under the Residential Tenancy Amendment Act, and at the end of the term of the tenancy, once the property has been vacated.
1.5 The tenant acknowledges that if subsequent testing in accordance with subclause 1.3, that they are liable as per section 49B (1)(b) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 including all amendments.
Ensure your property is compliant with NZS8510:2017
Seek relevant legal advice
$1.4M worth of methamphetamine is being used EVERYDAY nationwide
Recent independent analysis of wastewater estimates $1.4M worth of methamphetamine is being used EVERYDAY nationwide. That’s close to $10M of methamphetamine in New Zealand Properties every week. Over a year that can be extrapolated out to $510M of methamphetamine used in New Zealand Properties every year.
Protect your assets, get Meth Tested by the Xperts!
Meth Xpert NZ are happy to discuss the implementation of a methamphetamine risk management strategy for landlords, and we strongly advise ensuring your property is compliant with the Law before the enforcement of the regulations.