Prospective house buyers must be informed if a property contains a certain amount of methamphetamine contamination, the Real Estate Authority (REA) has stated.
Real estate agents must now tell prospective buyers if a home has contamination of 15 micrograms per 100cm2 or above. The advice follows the May 2018 report from Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor, which found no evidence of adverse health effects from third-hand exposure to methamphetamine smoke residue on household surfaces.
According to REA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith, methamphetamine contamination of 15 micrograms per 100cm2 or above is now considered a property defect, and must be disclosed to potential buyers. Confirmed results below this amount are not obliged to be disclosed, unless they are specifically asked for.
The REA says this position reflects the findings in Gluckman’s report, which stated that methamphetamine testing was only necessary where there is a strong suspicion that a property had previously been used for heavy methamphetamine use.
“The REA welcomes the report, which brings much-needed clarity to an extremely fraught area,” Lampen-Smith said. “The chance of buying a house with risky levels of methamphetamine contamination is very low. It is highly unlikely that 40% of New Zealand properties are contaminated as has been reported previously.”
“We strongly encourage people to ask lots of questions when buying a property,” he continued. “If you are worried about potential methamphetamine contamination because you suspect the property was used as a meth lab, ask your lawyer to include a satisfactory meth test as a condition for your offer.”
Lampen-Smith says prospective buyers should always ask their real estate agent if they are concerned about possible methamphetamine contamination.
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