As part of managing your risk around meth use in your property, we strongly advise you test for meth as soon as a tenant leaves. That way you can be sure any positive results for meth are attributed to them and it’s much harder for them to weasel out of the blame.
Culpability aside, you’re also putting your new tenant at risk by not testing for meth before they move in. Placing a tenant into a property with levels of meth contamination higher than the acceptable level is a breach of RTA as the property is not a safe and habitable environment The tenant can lodge an application with the tenancy tribunal, pursuing the landlord for exemplary damages and return of rent.
We are seeing tenants ordering their own meth tests now, wanting peace of mind if a landlord won’t do it for them.
Another tip: wait for the lab results from the meth test to come back before you allow the incoming tenant to move in. We have seen numerous situations where the PM or owner were adamant there would be no meth issues with an outgoing tenant and allowed the new tenant to move in, before receiving positive results back.
The 4 Main Points of Interest
- Testing between tenancies sets up an audit trail to hold tenants accountable
- Testing confirms the property is habitable to meet obligations of the RTA
- Testing should be done as soon as possible after the tenant vacates
- Results should be reviewed before the new tenant moves in
If your property is contaminated by your tenant and you haven’t got evidence that it was clear of meth before the tenant lived there then you won’t be able to prove to your insurance company or the Tenancy Tribunal that your tenant is liable. This can present a big financial risk. On the flip side, if your tenant tests the property for whatever reason and finds that they’ve been living in a meth residue contaminated property that puts their health at risk, they may have a case against you.
When you’re investing in an expensive asset, you are investing in your future financial security, so it’s always best to test before you buy. Forensic Cleaning Australia can walk you through the different types of testing we do and give you peace of mind that you’re renting, leasing or managing an asset that won’t give you any unforeseen grief down the track.