This is actually a poor story. The journalist has just taken a Tenancy Tribunal decision and tried to make a story out of it. But he does make one important point.
What the story should tell us but doesn't, is give us the levels of contamination. What are his "exceedingly high' levels? Where is the insurance claim at? One presumes the writer didn't even enquire. The Tribunal decision states that a 'restoration and decontamination' process is underway and 'expected' to cost more than $60k. So a lot of questions are left unanswered.
But the writer has identified that the Tribunals 'evidence-based approach' is now catching out some landlords.
The Prime Minister and Phil Twyford both told the nation that Meth Testing wasn't required. What they didn't tell us was that if you don't do a Screen Test or Baseline Test between each tenancy or when buying a house that an 'evidence-based' approach will mean that you can not 'prove' who caused the contamination. The fine print of your insurance policy will say that you need to test between tenancies. If you can’t prove who caused the contamination then the Tribunal wont order in your favour and your insurance company wont approve you claim.
This landlord was never going to get $60k from these tenants. But by not doing a Screen Test before the tenants moved in the landlord is very unlikely to get a payout by the insurance company. He now faces a bill of $60k where had he spent a few hundred dollars on a Screen Test he would most likely have the Insurance Company paying the bills