Landlords & Lettings

Landlords & Lettings

As a Landlord of a commercial property your duty to manage asbestos will depend on the specific terms of your lease or tenancy contract. If you are responsible for carrying out maintenance then this duty is yours. If this is shared then the cost of asbestos management should also be shared and arrangements made between all parties involved. Remember that Regulation 4 means you will have to have an asbestos management plan, the first step of which is a management survey.

If you are a Landlord of a domestic property then you have a duty under the Defective Premises Act 1972 to take reasonable care to see that tenants and visitors are safe from personal injury or disease caused by a defect in the state of the premises, which whilst not specifically mentioned, should include asbestos. Your tenants have a duty to cooperate as far as possible to enable you to fulfil this responsibility. Also the communal areas of the building such as stairwells, lifts, attics must have an asbestos survey & management plan in place just like commercial building do.

I am the landlord of a commercial building. What do I have to do to become compliant with asbestos legislation?
'The duty to manage is directed at those who manage non-domestic premises: the people with responsibility for protecting others who work in such premises, or use them in other ways, from the risks to ill-health that exposure to asbestos causes'.

In many cases, the duty holder is the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract.

The duty to manage asbestos is contained in regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (as amended).

It requires the person who has the duty (i.e. the "duty holder") to:

I am the landlord of a commercial building. Do I need asbestos survey on my building?

Yes, any building built before the year 2000 must have an asbestos management plan and the first part of creating this is to have an asbestos inspection by a competent surveyor.

Why do I need an asbestos survey on my building?

The Health & Safety Executive brought the law in to protect maintenance workers and building occupiers from exposure to asbestos. This is a legal requirement and should not be avoided by any means.

There is no asbestos in my building; do I still need a survey?

Yes, only a qualified and competent surveyor can make the decision that there is no asbestos in the building and even then a report and management plan must still be prepared as part of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

I am the landlord of domestic properties. Do I need asbestos survey?

Yes you do if you intend to carry out any kind of works in the property. For example when you call out a plumber of gas fitter to the property it automatically becomes a 'place of work' at which point all of the Health & Safety legislation kicks in. an asbestos survey stops tradesman, maintenance workers and DIY tenants from disturbing asbestos and contaminating your property.

Do I need an asbestos survey prior to refurbishment works?

Yes the Control of Asbestos Regulations clearly state that a refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, eg when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling'.

Do I have to let me tenants know that there is asbestos in the building?

To manage the risk from Asbestos Materials you will need to keep and maintain an up-to-date record of the location, condition, maintenance and removal of all ACMs on the premises; repair, seal or remove Asbestos if there is a risk of exposure due to their condition or location; maintain ACMs in a good state of repair and regularly monitor their condition; inform anyone who is liable to disturb the ACMs about their location and condition; have arrangements and procedures in place so that work which may disturb the ACMs complies with CAR 2012; and review the plan at regular intervals and make changes if circumstances change.

Does asbestos have to be removed?

No not at all. Removal of asbestos is always the last option in our books. Asbestos is only dangerous if it is disturbed and therefore no remedial actions may be needed. It depends upon where the asbestos is, the condition of the material and how likely to be disturbed it is. Other remedial actions may include encapsulation, isolation, or repairs.

How much does asbestos cost to remove?

That's a bit like phoning an estate agent and asking how much a house is. It depends on the type of asbestos, the amount, the accessibility and feasibility of the job. Prices can vary from a hundred pounds to thousands of pounds

I have asbestos in my building, how often should it be checked?

It depends upon several factors including location, condition, quantity, accessibility etc. A risk assessment show determine how often it needs to be checked however it varies from 6 months to 24 months with 12 months being the industry standard.


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