How far is too far – are we over reacting with the new P standards?

Mar 2, 2017 | News

“A brand new home in the Waikato had to be decontaminated following positive signs of methamphetamine use by tradesmen involved with its construction.”

There’s a great deal of ambiguity on how landlords should manage the issue of decontamination of properties where methamphetamine has been used or manufactured and there’s a lack of clear evidence and guidance around how landlords should deal with use in properties as opposed to manufacture. Tenancy Tribunal decisions have been contradictory and added to this confusion.

Hence the attempt by Standards New Zealand to establish clear standards for landlords is welcomed – but will they go far enough?

In our submission on the proposed standards, that you can read here:Community Housing Aotearoa Submission on NZS 8510 Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine contaminated properties_V1.pdf

CHA has stated that we do not support the draft standards as proposed. We believe that there needs to be far clearer guidance and a regulatory framework for property owners covering this issue to protect the interests of both landlords and tenants.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that in the absence of specific standards regarding use only landlords are defaulting to applying the guidance relevant to clandestine labs (clan labs) to properties where there is no evidence that manufacture has occurred. The application of the existing guidelines and the proposed standards will continue to result in negative social and economic outcomes for tenants and landlords.

Both landlords and tenants have faced significant additional costs, adversely affecting tenant well-being and landlord ability to provide housing. Community Housing Aotearoa recognise that methamphetamine can be harmful to those who use it and potentially to others, especially children-, who live in the home. However, based on our understanding of the research it is our view that the health implications of living in a house in which methamphetamine has previously been smoked have not been properly assessed. The standards as they are drafted will have wide-ranging negative impacts on social housing tenants and their families, as well as on third parties, that we believe are not justified by the weight of available evidence.

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