Two tenants who damaged the house they rented at Albany with drug use, including methamphetamine manufacturing, have been ordered by the Auckland High Court to pay $299,120.
Landlord Jokim Investments sued Grant Ian Sowman and his partner Adrienne Williams for damaging the place with their drug use, resulting in extensive testing and repairs.
Justice Matthew Palmer has released his decision, ordering the two to pay up.
Sowman was convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine, the judge noted.
"The police were called to the apartment," he said, referring back to 2015. "They detected evidence of unlawful activity relating to illegal drugs. Further investigation detected traces of methamphetamine. Chemicals and drug-related paraphernalia were located in the apartment and its basement storage cupboard."
Sowman was arrested, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis for supply, possession of ephedrine for supply, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of equipment for manufacturing methamphetamine. Williams admitted using meth there too but did not defend the proceedings, the judge noted.
The landlord had the place tested and cleaned but also had to demolish wall linings, flooring and other elements which could not be cleaned, the decision noted. The landlord then got a freezing order over Sowman's property on Great Barrier Island, restraining its sale.
Jokim claimed it cost $355,250 to reinstate the property and said net lost rental income from 2015 to 2017 when the place was being fixed amounted to $37,906.
Sowman admitted the meth contamination, did not dispute he was liable to the landlord but he estimated $53,443 less to fix the place than the landlord.
The judge decided Sowman and Williams were jointly liable and ordered them to pay Jokim $18,270 for decontamination, inspections, testing and legal fees, $44,936 for professional costs, $196,933 for remediation and $38,980 for net lost rental income from 2015 to 2017.