Credit Checks and Meth

3rd August 2023 | By: Dave Smyth

I recently won a bottle of wine from illion the credit checking firm that members have access to. I posted a picture of the gift on our Facebook page. I hope you read all about it there. Illion replied to my email to them about several issues I asked them about. This is their reply.

“We have recently been working with Sue Harrison and Jan Hains from the NZPIF on educating NZPIF members on how they can share their experiences with their good and bad tenants on our national tenancy database.

We recently built these new 2-3 minute tutorial videos that they are going to upload on to the Members area of the NZPIF website and promote in the next newsletter.

Tutorial videos:
Tenant Ratings/warnings:
14 Day Notices:
Tenancy Tribunal Orders:
It would be great if you could also share these with the members of your local association, so they are educated on how they can promote their good tenants and warn other landlords/property managers of bad tenants.

Yes, the ever-changing and increasing regulations that landlords must comply with is a major issue over the last few years. Principle 3 in the Privacy Act 2020 states that organisations should be open about why they are collecting personal information and what they will do with it. Your tenancy application form should include a Privacy Statement to ensure your prospective tenants are aware that you may use their personal information to perform a tenant check on them. This will give you consent, also known as a ‘privacy waiver’ to perform a tenant check as part of your tenant selection process. We highly recommend you save and securely store the tenancy applications submitted by any tenant whom you have performed a tenant check on for at least six (6) years from date of your tenant check. Why? Because a record of your tenant check is stored on the tenant’s Tenant Report for 6 years. In the case of a privacy complaint or enquiry by a tenant, you will be required to present confirmation you obtained a privacy waiver from the tenant. This also applies if you did not accept the tenant.

We recommend using the Privacy Statement shown on page 2 of the attached Tenancy Application form if you are using illion Tenancy for Tenant Checking and want to share Tenant Ratings/references on the database. This Privacy Statement has been reviewed and appropriate by our internal legal team.”
End of correspondence from illion. Sarah has been in communication with illion about speaking at one of our meetings.
Tenancy services recently posted on Facebook some advice from the Privacy Commissioner on selection of tenants and associated checks. That advice said details like drivers licences had to be disposed of after doing the checks. But on the basis of personal experience I can assure you that when an investigation / claim against you is made you will need all the information you were given at the time of the application.

I seem to be getting a few queries about the process of credit checking, debt recovery, and Meth decontamination.
I had a long conversation with a cousin in Auckland recently about meth contamination in her rental. Goodness the false information spread by so called professionals is terrible. I suggested she needed to use Goggle to find the answer to questions they were asking me because they simply would not accept what I was saying. They assured me they had done this as well as consulting with this and that firm. After the cousin finished the call. I looked up the details online and sure enough the Meth regulations specified in a recent amendment of the RTA have still not been passed and my cruel advice was 100% correct in that there is still no legislated level of meth contamination. There however are recommended levels including the outrageous practice of having one level for privately housed tenants and another much higher level for those poor folks housed in social housing.

This unlawful practice came about during John Key’s government and since then successive governments have promised to change the law. The RTA was changed along with a promise to issue the associated regulations but this never happened. Meanwhile the use of meth is growing but based on published tribunal orders less landlords are being taken to the cleaner. My off the record discussion with the local tenancy adjudicator two years ago confirmed the current status. Have a look at this post.
That document clearly states a decision will be made by Cabinet after the 2023 general election. We need to remember what has been said by the worlds great people in the past and not let our freedoms be taken away. Laws and health are not something to be sold or traded for personal or political gain.
Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. This was said by Abraham Lincoln. He was the 16th president of the United States.

Glenn Morris
Nelson Property Investors Association

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