A recent Tenancy Tribunal decision[1] noted that simply not knowing whether or not a property was contaminated with methamphetamine is not enough to absolve you of liability to any future tenants. It was a costly mistake for a landlord who had no idea their property was contaminated. The landlord was ordered to pay the tenant $7525 in damages including $3500 for partial rent refund and $4,025 for the disposal cost for the tenants contaminated belongings. Adjudicator M. Benvie stated “Any landlord who, in 2015 or 2016, rents out his or her premises without having it tested for methamphetamine contamination at the commencement of the tenancy is taking on a large risk in a number of respects”.

Whilst meth testing by landlords is not mandatory, the decision from the Tenancy Tribunal is unequivocal, the Tenancy Tribunal has no patience for landlords claiming ignorance to meth contamination. We recommend that you test your property between tenants. You should also update the provisions in the tenancy agreement to enable you to recoup costs if you can show that through regular testing on the balance of probabilities, the contamination was caused by a particular tenant.

Visagie vs Harper Property Management 15/06955/MK