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First National applauds New Meth Standards as a great step

for public release

30 June 2017

First National applauds New Meth Standards as a great step forward

First National Real Estate Chief Executive, Bob Brereton, says the new Methamphetamine contamination standards for housing released yesterday were a significant step forward in clarifying what has become a significant issue in the housing arena.

New standards, released yesterday, set a standard for the residential housing sector for acceptable levels on Methamphetamine residue. Previously the only available standard was for that of remediated Clandestine Laboratories at 0.5ug per 100cm2 whereas the new level of 1.5ug does not distinguish between labs or houses where consumption has occurred.

However, Mr Brereton questions how this could be the case.

“Whilst many may question the rationale behind not making the distinction the reality of the situation is labs are Clandestine by design and not easily recognizable or distinguishable from a house in which people have smoked. Had it been adopted it is reasonable on this basis to determine all houses with elevated levels would be labs in order to err on the side of public safety making large numbers of homes uninhabitable and attributing significant expense to likely unnecessary cleanup”

Mr Brereton says there has been much hype and misinformation around the subject over recent years and with very little research into the actual health impacts and unfortunately in a vacuum of empirical data hysteria soon follows

He said he would like to thank the 21 people who sat on the committee for their hard work over the last year and pragmatic approach to a very emotive subject and applauded their commitment to a workable outcome.

“The standard gives a level of clarity across both the habitability of property and the processes in which the homes are tested and subsequently remediated that was lacking under the previous guidance”.

Mr Brereton also highlighted the need for further education for the testing and remediation industry and the general acceptance of the Standard across all industry bodies charged with ensuring the housing stock of the country was safe, and the occupants and owners of those properties were protected against this scourge.

“There has been much angst across both the sales sector of Real Estate and Property Management about how to best protect the owners interests and balancing the needs to protect the buyer and tenant against any potential issues that can arise from Methamphetamine use, this provides clarity”.

Mr Brereton said that whilst the standard is not a magic bullet it will be a great assistance but whilst meth continues to be an issue in this country the problem will always be there.

“The reality is when a purchaser or a tenant is presented with two options of equal cost, one with meth residue and one without, due to the stigma involved there will be a tradeoff, invariably this tradeoff comes down to personal choice and ultimately money in the same way people reacted to the leaky home syndrome there is inevitably a cost to be borne”.

Mr Brereton said in most cases the impact on price would be relatively minimal it is a decision of willing buyer or tenant and willing vendor and the negotiations are made in good faith on the basis of complete information

“It is our opinion that as Real Estate professionals we are obligated to disclose any issue that may be material to a purchaser’s decision to complete a transaction. Some will have different sensitivities to the meth issue and as such I believe any level of Meth residue should be disclosed to potential purchasers”.


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