June Newsletter - 1st Jun 2016

June Newsletter Hello,
Methamphetamine Testing – Do you need to do it at your property?
There has been a lot of media attention recently around Methamphetamine or ‘P’ being found at properties. A few weeks ago it was front page news in the Nelson Mail. Is this hysteria around methamphetamine founded?

We recently invited two of the local Methamphetamine testing companies to do a presentation to the staff at Haven Property Management. They went over the common products that are used to make Methamphetamine and also the signs to look out for in a tenant’s appearance and behaviour. According to both of these companies the usage of Methamphetamine is on the rise. Methscreen believes that New Zealand and Australia are the highest users of Methamphetamine in the world.

If you are looking at purchasing a new property for yourself or as a rental property we would strongly recommend, as part of the due diligence you have an Indicative Methamphetamine test. If this is in Nelson we have had experience with contractors that carry out this testing.
Are you covered by insurance if your property is contaminated? Please contact your insurance company to find out what cover you have if Methamphetamine is found at the property.
 At this stage it is not compulsory to have your rental property checked. You have the option to decide if you want to get the property tested in between tenancies. In Nelson the price to have an Indicative Methamphetamine test ranges from $99 - $175 + GST.  There are different types of testing – from basic screening to extensive lab testing.

Below is a recent article written by Miriam Bell from the landlord.co.nz website.
Political accusations, along with this week’s release of the Illicit Drug Monitoring System (IDMS) study, mean Methamphetamine contamination of rental properties has hit the news again.
In worrying news for landlords, Massey University’s annual IDMS study shows the availability of Methamphetamine has increased, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch.

A police spokesperson told media that police were seeing increased Methamphetamine usage “across the board”.

Meanwhile, New Zealand First has accused Housing New Zealand of breaching tenancy law by putting people into state houses without testing for Methamphetamine contamination first. The party’s social development spokesperson Darroch Ball said that, under the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords must provide a clean property. "If landlords rent a property that is contaminated they are breaching their obligations under this law.”

For this reason, landlords should test for any signs of Methamphetamine before they rent a property, Ball said.

"Landlords were warned this month by the Tenancy Tribunal that they will not be able to hide behind a lack of knowledge of Methamphetamine contamination if the likelihood is overwhelming.”

As landlords.co.nz has reported, there is a lot of uncertainty and confusion about what landlords should do when it comes to Methamphetamine contamination of rental properties – be it actual or potential.

However, as suggested by Ball, a recent Tenancy Tribunal decision could provide insight into the expectations of the Tribunal.

Adjudicator Mark Benvie ordered a landlord to pay over $7,500 to his former tenants to refund rent and compensate them for the disposal of their belongings after the property they were renting was found to be Methamphetamine   contaminated.

He found that, due to the Methamphetamine contamination, the property was not fit to be lived in and the landlord had breached the implied term of the tenancy agreement that the premises were habitable.

At the same time, Benvie accepted that neither the landlord, who had bought the property just before the tenants moved in, nor his agents knew the property was contaminated.
In his ruling, he recognised the decision meant the landlord is liable for the consequences of the Methamphetamine contamination of the property – despite having no knowledge of the contamination.

But Benvie said 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.

Those working in associated areas recommend landlords heed the warning and get their properties tested. This means that if any contamination is found they can identify when it occurred and it provides a baseline for the Tenancy Tribunal should they need to take action against a tenancy.

Nelson Rental Property Market Figures
Haven Property Management has, over the past 15+ years developed a depth of knowledge and expertise in professionally managing properties for property investors and absentee owners.

The graph below shows the average market rent in the Nelson/Tasman Region compared to the average rents on properties managed by Haven Property Management.

1/11/2015 – 30/4/2016

  1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 Bedroom 4+ Bedrooms
Haven Property Management $259 $330 $390 $470
Dept. of Housing & Building $254.40 $313.14 $367.14 $453.33
Variation $ $4.60 $16.86 $22.75 $16.67

New Property Manager
Chris Varcoe has joined the Haven Property Management Team as a Property Manager. Chris has a background in management roles locally and nationally in sporting associations. He also worked for many years in the Finance and Insurance industries.

A landlord himself, Chris understands the importance of selecting great tenants, regular communication and building a solid relationship with clients based on trust, and integrity.
As with all the property managers at Haven Property Management, they are supported by two administration staff Nicola and Georgia, and our manager Jeanette. The admin staff are invaluable in ensuring the tenants rent is paid on time, inspection notices are sent out, credit checks and a number of databases are checked and verified, properties are advertised online and displayed in our street frontage window. There are a large number of  additional tasks they perform that free up our property managers to show potential tenants properties, organise any required maintenance, and keep owners up to date on their property.




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