A West Auckland tenant has been ordered to pay $16,000 for meth contamination of their rental property, but claimed their furniture was responsible for the high reading.

The three-bedroom Massey home in Colwill Rd was rented to two adults for 15 months at $500 a week until April last year.

Sunnyville Property Management took the pair to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Its decision says that after the tenants moved out, four rounds of methamphetamine testing were done, with some showing readings above the current safety limit of 15 micrograms per 100sq cm.

"In particular the kitchen and dining room are heavily contaminated as is the later
sample of the storage room and the tenants' sofa which had been used in the
lounge during the tenancy," the decision said.

The tenants attended the tribunal hearing and explained the contamination "may have occurred unintentionally as a byproduct of bringing contaminated furniture into the property".

Tribunal adjudicator Bernadine Hannan didn't accept this argument.

"The contamination levels found throughout the dwelling renders this claim improbable."

She also dismissed the tenants' submission that they couldn't be held liable for the contamination because the property wasn't tested before they moved in.

"It is more likely than not that the tenants have consumed, or allowed to be consumed, methamphetamine on the premises and this has led to contamination of the property requiring remediation."

The tribunal ruled a total cost of $16,288.82 reimbursement for damages including decontamination, chemical testing and repairs for smashed glass in the front door.

The approved safety level of methamphetamine was raised to 15 micrograms per 100 sq cm in May 2018 after a report by the Office of the Prime Minister's chief science advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman.

The report found there are no negative health effects from third-hand exposure to methamphetamine smoke residue on household surfaces below this level.