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The chaos cannot continue

Press Release – Tenants Protection Association (Christchurch) Inc.

Response to Report by Sir Peter Gluckman on Methamphetamine contamination in residential properties:

The chaos cannot continue.

TPA supports the commissioning of a Report by Sir Peter Gluckman to try and ascertain the implications of third party exposure to methamphetamine (meth)by both manufacture and smoking. We also welcome its finding as for too long there has been confusion and uncertainty for occupants and home owners about what it means for them to live in or own a home where meth contamination has been detected.

Tenants have borne the brunt of claims a house is not safe to live in by having their tenancies ended and been forced to relocate at extremely short notice. They haven’t known if their and their family’s health is at risk, or if their belongings should be kept, abandoned or thrown out.

The Tenancy Tribunal has the power to end tenancies because of unlawful drug use or damage to a property. By having the ability to move someone on due to a perceived heath risk, some Landlords have been avoiding the normal process required to evict someone. Tenants have routinely lost access to the natural justice that comes from the Tenancy Tribunal deciding if a tenancy should be ended, by the wide use of the 7 day notice from the Landlord to move out because a property is considered uninhabitable.

Housing New Zealand in particular have taken a guilty until proven innocent approach when they have found meth contaminated homes, as illustrated by the standing down of tenants from applying for further housing from them.

With the Residential Tenancies Act set to be amended to provide guidance on how to deal with meth contaminated properties and tenancies, we repeat our previous calls that the meth testing and de-contamination industry must be regulated. The chaos, uncertainty, financial and emotional costs of the previous few years cannot continue.

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