Renting a property means forking out cash each week for the right to call someone else’s property your home.
You are meant to be able to enjoy the privacy of the place in exactly the same way as if you owned the house or flat or were in the process of paying off a mortgage.
With that also comes a host of responsibilities.
You have to keep it well-maintained, clean and prevent damage.
The landlord too must attend to maintenance issues.
But now there’s the added variable of methamphetamine, something that would not have been part of the tenancy equation a decade ago.
The Border Mail has previously reported on the growing problem of rental properties becoming contaminated by “ice”.
It can be through the use of the drug by a tenant or, in cases of more substantial contamination, the use of the property as a drug laboratory.
Regardless of the cause there is the potential for an unsuspecting new tenant to be exposed to the dangers.
Much lobbying over a better policy approach to the ice crisis focuses on the need to fund rehabilitation centres to give addicts at least an even chance of kicking their habit.
It advocates an education-focused approach, partly supported by a provision in Residential Tenancies Authority policies stating a property cannot be contaminated with drugs.
But as chief executive Ryan Matthews concedes, it will be a matter of taking “baby steps” to “try and show people the potential consequences and deter them from illegal activity in the first place”.
Methamphetamine though means such rational thinking can be the first thing that goes out the window.
And just how exactly this could be enforced is another very moot point, given the added expense likely to be created.
The idea certainly has merit, though considerable work would be needed to create a practical system that is both effective and sustainable.
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