Meeting the Health & Safety Requirements
It is the landlords responsibility to provide a safe & healthy property to their tenants
More about meth
As you will be aware the new Health & Safety legislation came into affect on the 4th April 2016. It looks as though landlords will be deemed as a PCBU (Person conducting a Business or Undertaking), and as such will come under the scrutiny of Worksafe NZ, many landlords will be oblivious to this. Landlords have a responsibility to provide a safe & healthy property for their tenants, failing to do so could not only expose you to liability from your tenants but also potentially from Worksafe NZ.
One area of concern is the interpretation of supplying a safe and healthy premises when it comes to methamphetamine contamination. Are you negligent if you haven’t meth tested? This seems to be a grey area but if you have any suspicions the property could be contaminated you are definitely being negligent by not testing. There has already been a case of a tenant successfully suing a landlord for $50k for allowing them to reside in a contaminated property.
The general consensus seems to be it is advisable to test at the end of each tenancy, that way you can be sure the property is healthy for your new tenants or if contaminated, the tenant/s responsible for the contamination can be held responsible.
How can B&N Properties assist landlords?
Most landlords seem to bury their head in the sand when it comes to this, we are seeing a rising number of affected houses being reported so it is something to take seriously. Having the correct insurance in place and a good broker looking after you will reduce the worry tremendously. There is a wide range of cover between insurers, some are very limiting while others have much better cover if the property is well managed.
Our advice is if you are thinking of changing your insurance company have the property meth tested before doing so, it is unlikely your new insurance company will cover a pre-existing condition.
Does my current insurance policy protect me from liability under the new law?
For more advice on insurance talk to your insurance broker or talk to ours to ensure you have adequate cover. I highly recommend Chris Lane, as a property investor himself he has a good understanding of what is required. Knowing that you have good cover for such an event and a good broker that will go in to bat for you when making any claims is certainly a weight off your shoulders.
When should I get my property tested for meth contamination?
As far as meth testing goes, it is your decision at the end of the day. Please consider this and let us know if you want your property meth tested between tenancies, (if your average tenancy term is 12 months this will cost you just over $4 per week per property). Personally I think having evidence the property is uncontaminated at the start of the tenancy justifies a small premium to the rent – plus surely that is a huge deterrent to any tenants that are involved in either meth smoking or manufacture.
How much does meth testing cost?
We are certified meth testers through Meth Solutions. The cost of meth testing a house up to 3 bedrooms is approx $217.35 for a 5 day turnaround (price subject to chage without notice).
Meth Solutions can also provide a meth monitor which activates an alert via the phone line as soon as meth is detected (cost approx $10 per week). More information can be found at http://www.methsolutions.co.nz or click on the logo below.
A lot of landlords are now choosing to employ a property manager to ensure their property is being managed correctly to meet all their insurance obligations and reduce their liability risk.
If you are considering employing a property manager please feel free to contact us any time to discuss your management needs, whether it is just for free advice, casual management (e.g. finding & screening new tenants) or full property management we are happy to help.
For more information on our management servive go to Landlords page
Or Phone 0800 111 252