Real estate agents to no longer disclose low meth levels

  • 08/06/2018
A house gets tested for methamphetamine.
A house gets tested for methamphetamine. Photo credit: Newshub.

Disclosing low levels of methamphetamine contamination to homebuyers is no longer necessary.

The Real Estate Authority is issuing the new advice following reports that there are no adverse health effects from third-hand exposure to low levels of the drug.

A Government report found the safe level of methamphetamine residue is much higher than initially thought, with the standard moving from 0.5 micrograms per square metre to 15 micrograms per square metre.

It means Housing New Zealand pointlessly emptied at least 240 state houses and wasted a good chunk of $100m on cleaning houses in which meth was smoked but not manufactured. Hundreds more private landlords are thought to have complied with the incorrect standard - wasting thousands of dollars on cleaning - but they won't be compensated, it as it was only ever a guideline.

Now, Real Estate Authority chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith says if you don't ask about any readings less than the now 15mcg safe level when buying a home, you'll never find out.

But if you do ask, he says the real estate agent "will disclose the readings that have been achieved within that safe level up to 15".

"So it's not that the real estate agent will say nothing - on enquiry, the real estate agent will still disclose all the information they have available to them."