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Property Purchase - Meth testing
30 May 2016

Property Purchase – Meth testing

Methamphetamine contamination has been described as being so prevalent that it could be worse than the leaky home crisis that affected New Zealand in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Ministry of Health guidelines do not identify any safe level of methamphetamine contamination, and guidelines around the world vary. In New Zealand, decontamination is currently recommended if 0.5 micrograms (0.0005g) are detected in one 10cm by 10cm area. If detected, your local Council has powers under the Health Act 1956 to order cleansing of the property and could place a permanent requisition on your property file.

The chemicals used to cook Methamphetamine and the residue from its use can be highly toxic and can linger for a long time after being absorbed into housing materials. Health risks include burns, respiratory and neurological damage. Decontamination can require complete redecoration to the affected area, including replacement of carpets, curtains, and wall linings.

It is becoming increasingly common to include in agreements for the purchase of residential property a condition enabling tests for the presence of methamphetamine before the purchaser is committed to complete the purchase.

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