After finding that 70 percent of rental properties tested in one area were positive for methamphetamine recently, it’s becoming clear that landlords, property managers and home buyers can play a pivotal role in defeating New Zealand’s P epidemic.
A fact that some people may not have realised yet is that meth users cannot smoke methamphetamine in pubs, clubs and other public places, and it is this behaviour that may hold the key to stamping out the use of the drug.
People are largely restricted to using methamphetamine in the privacy of their homes or at parties that take place in homes.
This means that if every property is rigorously tested between sales and tenancies, there will be enforceable financial implications for allowing P to be manufactured or used in your home.
Tenants and property owners who allow P to be smoked in their homes or during parties would have to be prepared to pay tens of thousands of dollars for remediation work – a circumstance that will be unpalatable to most.
Advances in technology mean that reliable testing can be done for as little as $179 to achieve a same day result. This is negligible for property managers and landlords and is tax deductible.
If every landlord and property manager takes up the challenge to protect their properties, we will severely restrict the opportunities for people to do meth.
Do more testing, but do it properly
It is important however, that the testing follows best practice because inaccurate results could prove stressful and expensive for tenants, landlords and vendors alike.
At Methtech we use extremely sophisticated technology – a high-end German mobile drug testing machine called the Dräger DrugTest® SSK 5000 System, which is favoured by overseas law enforcement; so we know a thing or two about meth testing.
Here are some tips for landlords and homebuyers who want to be certain the testing done on their property is up to standard:
People testing for meth should avoid eating, drinking or smoking shortly before carrying out a test.
Testing should be confined to a templated 100 square centimetre area.
The maximum acceptable standard in New Zealand is .5 micrograms per 100 square centimetres.
A minimum of four areas on a standard property should be swabbed for meth contamination (more if it is a big house).
Common areas to test include above the couch in the lounge, garage, kitchen, dining room, toilet and the area above the headboards in the bedrooms.
Ask for evidence that the testing technician is qualified to carry out the test.
Test between tenancies to establish a baseline.
The technician should also assess the property for signs of manufacture such as coffee filters, soft drink bottles, coffee jugs, Pyrex dishes, gloves and staining around heat sources like the stove.
Following positive tests above acceptable levels for meth contamination and subsequent remediation, the property will need to be tested again to make sure it is clear of contamination.
The extent of the remediation will depend on the level of contamination. My firm advice to landlords is to avoid trying to save a dollar. Get it done properly because the consequences of getting it wrong are very serious.
MethTec Limited is a division of Moratti & Associates, Licensed Private Investigators Since 1989. (Current License 1895927).
MethTec uses the mobile Dräger DrugTest® SSK 5000 System, favoured by overseas law enforcement bodes and is sensitive to contamination levels down to .125 micrograms (the current standard in New Zealand is .500 micrograms).
All results of the company’s testing are admissible as evidence, technicians are trained and testing costs $179.00 excluding GST for a standard house.
Rod Moratti has been licensed as a Private Investigator to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice since 1989. He has also been a long standing member of the NZIPI (New Zealand Institute of Professional Investigators Inc).
• Licensed to the New Zealand Courts, Ministry of Justice
• Member NZIPI (New Zealand Institute of Professional Investigators Inc.)