Nearly three quarters of investors will ask for a methamphetamine test on properties they are looking to buy.

That's according to a Crockers Property Investment Index survey out this month.

The survey found that 71 per cent of the 159 participants would ask for a methamphetamine test if looking to buy a property.

The survey, however, found that more than half of the same group of investors would not be prepared to pay for a meth test on properties they already own.


Only three per cent would be willing to pay for a test every six months, while 16 per cent would pay for one every year.

Around 28 per cent would be prepared to pay for one every two years, the survey said.

New Zealand Property Investors' Federation president Andrew King said it can be very expensive to deal with meth contamination, which is why many landlords want to test a property before they buy.

But given the costs involved - which varied between $200 to $500 for a preliminary test - he also understood why they didn't want to do it regularly.

Ministry of Health guidelines on acceptable levels of meth (presently set at 0.5 micrograms per 100 square centimeters) were under review, King said.

"The companies that do the cleaning are finding it extremely difficult to get it down to that level, so they're ripping out the wall linings, all the appliances, the heat pumps, carpets, the curtains - it's ridiculously expensive to try to meet the current standards,"
King said.

"I think people confuse the word 'contaminated' with the word 'toxic'. Because from a scientific point of view if there's any presence at all, and the manner of it is microscopic, if it's there and it shouldn't be there then according to science it's 'contaminated'. But it may have no affect at all.

"That's how the word 'contaminated' is being used in this situation. People are viewing that as being 'toxic'and if it's above 0.5 they're going to get sick if they live in that house and that's not the case at all," he told the Herald.