I need a lawyer that knows about tenancy law in new Zealand? No no one yet. Just my own research within tenecy tribunal,

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Customer: Hi I need a lawyer that knows about tenancy law in new Zealand?
JA: Have you talked to a New Zealand lawyer about this?
Customer: No no one yet
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Just my own research within tenecy tribunal, online articles, online forums and groups etc
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope I don't think so
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 5 mins 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

How may I help-I often answer tenancy questions here

Customer
Ok it's a bit of a long one Chris but basically we live in a rental in Hamilton for nearly 2 years, sometime ago the house was sold and the new owners wanted to keep us on, they managed the property themselves until December last year when they started using a property manager, the PM showed up announced early to mid December and found 2 small almost dead marijuana plants my wife was attempting to grow as she has mental health issues (which the owners are aware of) and went through a phase of attempting to grow to use marijuana to help with anxiety etc I know I shouldn't have allowed it to happen but at the time it was helping her, so on the unannounced inspection the PM found them, photographed them and said that because of the plants he was going to conduct a meth test and if it came back positive he would use the plants against us, fast forward to last Thursday where I received an email saying it was positive and he wanted to avoid the tenancy tribunal so asked us to vacate in 21 days. I did not respond to his email but text the owner and apologized profusely for our mistake (btw I destroyed the plants the day they were found) and promised him there is no weed or meth being used in this house in anyway what so ever. I left it at that then got an email today (Tuesday) basically saying again to avoid the tenancy tribunal we need to get the house decontaminated so hopefully you have somewhere to stay for the duration BUT all of your furniture you bought into the house can not come back in to the house! So he is saying that a) we have to pay for our own accommodation while cleaning and b) we have to get rid of all our furniture as it will contaminate the cleaned house? Also there was no further mention of the marijuana? He also said once cleaned and new furniture they can re tenant us?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Have you seen the meth test result? You should insist on seeing that before they take steps to decontaminate

Customer
No I haven't I am a being cautious before replying to his email but I think 2 of the questions would be a) please forward me the apparent email regarding the first visit and b) the test results. Now if he can not produce said email I guess that proves he did show up unannounced therefore is it true that anything found during that visit would be inadmissible at court/tenancy tribunal? Also about the furniture? What about my daughter's toys or the clothes on our backs?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Otherwise you could take their option to decontaminate but you should be aware that meth tests are controversial and don't meant much unless done properly and with proper testing by experienced analysts. He should not have visited without your consent, and that may be why he is trying to avoid the tribunal

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

So getting rid of the furniture and toys may not be necessary if their test results are dodgy

Customer
I know the test was done by a legitimate outfit but even they said not to worry about the results and if it comes back positive and they want to decontaminate the property they actually have to pay to relocate you etc does that sound right by law to you Chris?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If the house was contaminated when you moved in, then yes, they would need to pay for your relocation

Customer
I guess that would be hard to prove, basically all I can give them is my word, I wonder if they tested furniture we bought into the house and compared levels which would be zero to like the walls and ceilings etc?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It could be the furniture-if someone had smoked in the house it would be on the walls and ceiling, not just the furniture. You could get your own tests done of course

Customer
I know that there will not be anything on our table and chairs, fridge etc as they were brand new when we moved in and there has been no meth or any drugs for that matter used in or around this house, definitely an option
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I think getting your own testing, with instructions to see if this was old contamination. That could be hard to prove, but with no testing done when you moved in, there is an issue

Customer
Thank you Chris much appreciated.
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