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Important lesson from P-Lab case


Important lesson from P-Lab case

The Napier District Court ruling that three people convicted for manufacturing methamphetamine in a HNZ property are liable for the damage is very pleasing for landlords.

However there is a message from the situation that landlords can learn from.

Part of the reason that the property had to be demolished is that the manufacturing had been going on for some seven years. If property inspection procedures had been put in place the damage may not have been so severe that the property required demolition.

Private Landlords can now employ outside services to ensure that property inspections are made. Without regular property inspections landlords face the risk of completely losing their rental property with a successful insurance claim unlikely. While the Napier case allows a precedent to seek recompense from the perpetrators, this relies on taking the matter to the District Court and whether the perpetrators have the funds to pay should your application be successful.

Landlords would be advised to conduct property inspections or arrange for them to be conducted to pick up on P manufacture at an early stage.

By doing this they minimize the damage which will save the property and reduce the cost of damage to cleaning. The cost of cleaning the property is often low enough that matter can be decided by the Tenancy Tribunal rather than the District Court.

The lower cost from early detection also provides a better chance of recovering the cost of damage from the offending tenant.

However many private landlords do not conduct regular rental property inspections due to the awkwardness of checking up and perceived intrusiveness of inspecting their tenants home. Time constraints and other more urgent matters also means that property inspections tend to be put off as not urgent.

Property Managers should conduct property inspections for their clients, however 70% of New Zealand landlords manage their rental property themselves. A new service now exists from Andrew King Property Management Services so that owner managers can employ them to conduct regular inspections and protect them from risk and the potential loss of their investment. Details of the service are at



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