Home Inspection News – Issue 8

Property Prices Slow Down June 2017

In June property markets continued to slow in many of the larger centres. Auckland sales were down 27% compared to June last year, the lowest June sales for the last 7 years. Prices were down about 3% over the past 3 months. Sales number have also fallen in Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin. The Canterbury market is flat with little change from last month. Tauranga showed a small price increase of 1.6% for the past 3 months.

The seasonal effect of winter will be one factor but the forthcoming general election creates uncertainty so many buyers tend to wait. It is now 10 months since the 40% LVR was introduced and there is no sign of the market speeding up again at the moment. Following the previous LVR increase the market slowed and then speeded up again within 3 – 6 months.

Notwithstanding all of the above the housing shortage continues to grow as building new residences still falls behind the growth in demand. It is well documented that there is a shortage of builders and  associated trades and net migration hit a new record of close to 73,000 for the past 12 months. Such market forces usually lead to increased house prices.


NZS 8510 2017 New Zealand Standards for Methamphetamine Testing

In June 2017 this New Zealand standard was issued.

It sets out the standard required for sampling, testing, reporting and decontamination of  Methamphetamine effected properties. The key points of the standard are:

  1. Accredited samplers required.
  2. Contamination above 1.5mg / 100cm2 for high use areas and above 3.8mg / 100cm2 for limited use areas such as crawl spaces, cavities etc. require decontamination.
  3. Samplers must be independent of those that do decontamination.
  4. Sampling methods and procedures are specified.
  5. Testing laboratories are accredited.
  6. Contents and method of reporting is specified.
  7. Procedure for decontamination is specified.

Contact your A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspector for  Methamphetamine testing done in accordance with NZS 8510:2017.

Methamphetamine Contamination and Insurance

Insurance companies such as AIG will cover policy holders for Meth contamination. The policy will almost always exclude family members who use (or manufacture) the drug at the property.

Typically forensic quantitative testing which shows contamination levels above the specified levels is covered. As an example AIG will only cover up to $30,000 for decontamination and a minimum excess of $2,500 will apply unless a higher excess applies.

Since badly contaminated properties (such as where “P” has been manufactured) could cost much more than $30,000 to rectify there is still a high risk of a big financial loss. It is important therefore to ensure properties are tested when buying or renting.

There is no cover for holiday rentals or air b and b type short letting arrangements for Meth use but cover exists for contamination from manufacture storage and distribution. For landlords to be insured a whole raft of conditions apply such as:

  1. Reasonable care in selecting tenants.
  2. Keeping written records of pre-tenancy checks.
  3. Collecting 3 weeks rent and / or bond and register the bond with
    Tenancy Services.
  4. Do internal and external inspections at least every 3 months and for every change of tenant.
  5. Keep records and photos of all inspections.
  6. Monitor rents and if 14 days in arrears send written plus personal visit to correct the situation.
  7. Must apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for vacant possession if:
  8. a) The rent is 21 days in arrears.
  9. b) You become aware of any illegal activity by the occupants.
  10. c) If any intentional damage is done by the occupants.

Failure to do these things may well invalidate the insurance. It would be wise to contact your A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspector to test for Methamphetamine before you buy or rent out a property.