Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 landlords must ensure that, when work is carried out at their property, it is done safely and without endangering workers or others, including tenants.
Landlords must identify asbestos in the workplace and document plans for managing its risks in an asbestos management plan, if there is a risk of exposure to respirable asbestos fibres.
In simple terms it means that when a landlord requires a tradesperson to undertake work on a property, and the place where they will be working may contain asbestos, they must have it assessed prior to the work being undertaken. Worksafe have said this must be done for houses built prior to the year 2000.
PLEASE NOTE: this does NOT mean all asbestos needs to be removed – in most cases a landlord just needs to ensure it is encapsulated, in which case the fibres are not exposed and it does not pose a health risk.
Worksafe have issued information for investors about asbestos – click here to view, further information can be found on their website by clicking here.
We recommend the proactive approach to avoid being charged more later. If your property was built prior to the year 2000, we recommend getting an assessment done now. You could be up for higher charges if you wait until work needs doing at the property – for example, if there is a storm which caused damage to the house, and emergency work needs to be done for the tenants to be able to live in it safely, you would have to order an urgent asbestos assessment prior to any work being undertaken. It is likely that you will be charged more for an urgent assessment than you would normally. The work could not be carried out until the assessment was completed which may take a few days depending on demand. In the meantime you may have to re-house the tenants at your own cost. However, if you’d had one done earlier in the year, you’d know if that part of the house had asbestos in it or not, and you could send a suitable contractor to carry out the work.
For assessments we have used & recommend: