Landlords demand ‘P’ tests
A landlord who wanted to protect her homes from methamphetamine, also known as ‘‘P’’, has herself become an independent tester for the drug on properties in Matamata.
Research by MethSolutions, to June 2016, shows 39 per cent of 6754 Waikato properties sampled for methamphetamine are returning with a positive result.
Matamata resident Andrea Tarrant is an independent methamphetamine tester for MethSolutions.
She became interested in the job as a method to protect her own investment properties.
And she’s found that in Matamata there is now high demand for people with the skills to test properties for methamphetamine.
‘‘Matamata is quite busy at the moment and it’s very much driven by the property market, because people are becoming aware when they are buying a house that you need to test.
‘‘We now test all our own rental properties.’’
MethSolutions offers a test which gives an indication only of how significant the levels of methamphetamine in a house are.
They will also show levels of the precursor chemicals amphetamine, ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine. The Ministry of Health acceptable level is 0.5 μg (micro grams) per 100sqcm (10×10 cm2).
Tarrant sends the swab to Hill Laboratories, which passes the results to MethSolutions. She will not see the results herself.
Tarrant says there is a certain amount of denial that small rural towns don’t have a methamphetamine problem.
But she says home owners and property buyers need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting their homes against P.
‘‘You can’t rely on the fact that great people have lived there for 50 years.
‘‘There are examples of where adult children or visitors have stayed in the family home, and they have been smoking methamphetamine and those rooms have been contaminated.’’
Tarrant says methamphetamine smoke doesn’t emit a telling smell and the residue and contamination leaves no strong indicators.
‘‘If you have recently moved into a home, and suddenly you or members of your family are getting headaches, itchy skin, or asthma, it could be a sign the house was once used as a meth lab, or has significant residue.’’
Andrea Tarrant tests properties for ‘P’