April 2017 Newsletter - 1st Apr 2017

April 2017 Newsletter Recommendations Around Methamphetamine Testing
No doubt you will be aware of the increasing coverage in the media around Methamphetamine use around New Zealand. Few people will argue that New Zealand is dealing with a major social problem as use of Meth increases. What is less clear is what damage it is causing to the properties where it is used or manufactured.
Recently insurance company IAG issued a press release and a booklet around its stance around claims regarding Meth contaminated properties. IAG have insurance brands such as AMI, State, Lumley and NZI.
In the booklet, IAG have outlined the key responsibilities that landlords must adhere to, to make a valid claim. Failure to carry out these requirements may mean that your rental portfolio may not be covered.
In the press release, IAG state that claims for Meth contamination will not be accepted if it is too difficult to determine the timing and nature of any event causing contamination. Our professional opinion is that landlords should test in between tenancies to establish a baseline.
At this stage, we only recommend that you do this.
Two main points that landlords need to be aware of are as follows:
1. If a claim is lodged and there is no evidence as to whether the property was not contaminated at the commencement of the tenancy then you may not be covered.
2. The other important stance that IAG have taken is that properties that are available on property sharing websites such as Airbnb are not covered for meth contamination.
If you do wish to have your property tested in between tenancies please let us know. We will only use companies that are recommended by IAG and none of the companies we use will have known interests with decontamination companies.
A composite base test will cost approximately $200. This is where a single swipe is used in every room in the   property and the results will be combined. A composite test result represents a sum or accumulation of each of the individual wipes. 
If the results of the composite test exceed Ministry of Health Guidelines of 1.5 micrograms per 100cm2 for a carpeted property, then further discrete testing will be necessary.
The booklet released by IAG also outlines the key responsibilities
The key responsibilities for landlords are:
· Exercise reasonable care in the selection of tenants
· Keep records of tenant applications
· Collect a minimum of three weeks’ bond
· Inspect the property every three months
· Keep detailed records and photographs of each inspection
· Exercise a strict arrears policy which includes early application to the Tenancy Tribunal
· Apply to Tribunal if you become aware of illegal activity or of intentional damage caused by the occupants.
As your property is professionally managed with us, you can rest assure that we work diligently within the    boundaries set out above. We invest considerable amount of time and money in ensuring that our team are  continual upskilled around this increasingly complex industry.
However, as Methamphetamine is a new phenomenon, we feel it is important that we provide information and educate you around this so you can make the best decision for your investment portfolio moving forward.
If you want to discuss this matter further, feel free to contact us.

Kind regards,
Haven Property Management.

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