FAQ for Landlords and Lettings
I am the landlord of a commercial building. What do I need to do to comply 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 2012 (as amended).
It requires the person who has the duty (i.e. the ‘duty holder’) to:
- Take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in.
- Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not.
- Make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition of the asbestos containing materials – or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos.
- Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials identified.
- Prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed.
- Take the necessary steps to put the plan into action.
- Periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date.
- Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them. There is also a requirement on anyone to co-operate as far as is necessary to allow the duty holder to comply with the above requirements.
I am the landlord of a commercial building. Do I need an 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 2012.
I am the landlord of domestic properties. Do I need an asbestos survey?
Yes, 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 helps stop tradesmen, 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 tenants know if there is asbestos in the building?
Yes. 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 its 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
- Review the plan at regular intervals and make changes if circumstances change
If asbestos is found, does it need to be removed?
You may be surprised to hear that we actually see asbestos removal as a last resort. Asbestos is only dangerous if it is disturbed and therefore no remedial actions may be needed if the ACMs in your building are stable and likely to remain that way. Other remedial actions, apart from removal, may also provide a solution if necessary. These include encapsulation, isolation, or repairs.
How much does asbestos removal cost?
That’s a bit like calling a car dealer and asking ‘how much does a car cost?’ The cost of asbestos removal depends on factors such as the type of asbestos, the amount of it, ease or difficulty of access, and more. Prices can vary from £100 to several thousand pounds. The only definite guide we can give you regarding price is that our rates are amongst the most competitive around. Use our online contact form, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 02393 072182 to arrange a survey and quotation.
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.