Following on from recent media attention to the growing problem of meth houses in New Zealand, Graham explores what this means practically for landlords.
I have been amazed how much talk there has been in the last month about meth houses.
One friend who is a professional investor is putting new smoke alarms in their house with meth detecting capability, another who has an asbestos testing and removal business is gearing up for meth clean-ups, another has purchased a cheap property only to discover the meth clean up bill attached to it and another who is testing all of the rentals upon change of tenancy to set the standard around the quality of the property and also to send a signal to prospective tenants. Wow!
It will be interesting to see the first case of a landlord tenanting a house that is clean for meth and then finding it not so upon the end of the tenancy and what the implications are from this. I don’t know how this will develop but it will be a new experience for all of us (and, just to be clear, the new experience I am talking about is not taking meth!).
In the interim, I don’t think we want to get all paranoid, as we can only do so much to protect our investments as landlords. They keys remain good tenant selection, watching the bank account and doing regular inspections (I do want to re-emphasise that currently the only way you can get your landlord protection cover to pay out in the case of meth contamination is to show evidence of regular, documented inspections). The best people to do the regular inspections for you are professional reputable property managers.
Graham Goodisson is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.