Don't Get Caught With A Contaminated Investment By Mike Pero

Contamination of rental properties has become a real issue for landlords, so here are some tips to avoid getting caught.

Many landlords in New Zealand are faced each day with the prospect of discovering their investment property has been contaminated with methamphetamine. Buying an investment property is a decision not taken lightly, so when it’s reported that the spectre of meth scares off 80 per cent of potential buyers – it’s important landlords protect their investment. Here are a few tips to help you ensure you don’t get caught out.

Appoint a property manager

This may seem like a simple solution – but having a good property manager can take some of the stress out of owning an investment property. They will do everything from completing the right background checks on tenants, right through to regular visits to check on the property.

The threat of being found out is one of the biggest deterrents for those that want to use your property for something other than living in – so having a constant presence will make them think twice. If having a property manager is outside of the budget – then you may want to consider doing it yourself. Schedule regular inspections and make sure it’s not predictable when the next one will be. As a landlord you only have to give 48 hours’ notice of an inspection. 


Have the property tested regularly

Having the property tested regularly is crucial – not just to protect the building – but to make sure the tenants are safe as well. There are two key times to get the property tested for contamination – before you buy it, and after each inspection. A basic contamination test costs around $160 plus GST – so for a small investment landlords can rest easy knowing the property is clean.

If a house is leased and it’s discovered to be contaminated, the landlord is in breach of obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act, as well as other legislation such as the Building Act and the Health Act – so the consequences can be costly. It’s not unheard of for tenants to take landlords to court and it end up costing thousands of dollars.

Take out insurance

It’s important that, in the event your property is contaminated, you have the right insurance cover. A full clean of a property can cost a landlord anywhere between $5,000 to $35,000 depending on the level of contamination – and then there’s lost rent while the place is empty.

Talk to your Mike Pero adviser today about the different insurance policies available for landlords. As well as protecting against contamination, cover is also available for missed rental payments, as well as internal and structural damage to the building.

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