The NZ Herald has reported that homeowners are paying millions to decontaminate ‘P-riddled’ properties, in a crisis that, according to the Herald, could rival the leaky homes disaster.
One industry expert states that the proportion of homes testing positive for methamphetamine residue sits at 40% of those tested. Clean up costs range from low to high value sums (hundreds of thousands), with worst case scenario being complete demolition.
The issue is not confined to state housing, although there has been recent media attention on the costs incurred by Housing NZ in remedial work (approximately $12-13 million a year). There was a revelation earlier this week that up to ¼ of the 19 homes in a Christchurch state housing development had been contaminated in the 9 months since they were built.
As with leaky buildings, real estate agents must disclose to potential buyers any suspicions they may have about P contamination. Landlords must also advise their tenants, and are obligated to clean the contamination in their properties.
In July last year, we blogged about the prospect of a ‘pre-purchase’ meth report (including a list of warning signs that a property may be contaminated). Following the leaky building crisis it became common practice (and common sense) to organise a pre-purchase building inspection to advise on possible weathertightness or other defects. The detection of meth contamination is beyond the scope of a typical pre-purchase inspection report, therefore it will be sensible to consider a pre-purchase meth report as part of any due diligence process.