Asbestoes / Health and Safety / Fire Risk Assesment

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    Asbestoes / Health and Safety / Fire Risk Assesment

    We had a building (not so great), which were was rented out to someone doing furniture renovations / manufacturing. They employ people.

    It is a new start-up company, but they missed basics such as fire risk assessment, fire doors, fire extinguishers, ear defenders etc.... and not putting up various signs.

    They also removed the suspended ceiling, which exposed asbestos cement boards (which was painted). They said it is okay, so long as coated with something and left there.

    The local council would not make this a formal notice (to help them), but then at the same time said they would refer the matter to HSE. The tenant said it would have been better if the matter had been deal by local council rather then HSE.

    The tenant claims we (as landlord) before renting it out, should have carried out an asbestos check. There was no sign of it. It was only apparent when the tenant removed the suspended ceiling. Is there any thing we needed to before renting it out?

    (our plan was convert the building into flats, but never got permission, so it was never meant to go into the commercial business.....

    I'm not sure of the exact rules, but the most that would have been required would have been an asbestos management survey. That would not have involved taking down ceilings, but should have noted that there might be hidden asbestos there.

    I'm not sure of the landlord responsibilities here, but to the extent you have a responsibility, you should have updated your register of asbestos containing materials, and revised your asbestos management plan, when the asbestos cement was uncovered.

    Asbestos cement doesn't normally even have to be sealed, and even removal doesn't normally need a licence.


      I'm not aware of any legislation obliging a landlord to get an asbestos report before letting business premises. But a well-advised or experienced tenant would require an asbestos report to be obtained by the landlord before committing to a lease.

      Responsibility can be varied by express agreement between the parties – for example, by the landlord passing his obligations to the tenant under a lease by virtue of a clause which makes a tenant liable for compliance with laws. Where contamination is an issue, this should be given very careful consideration before the lease is entered into and the parties should be absolutely clear on who should bear responsibility for any work and costs.

      HSE info herre:
      The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 bring together the three previous sets of Regulations covering the prohibition of asbestos, the control of asbestos at work and asbestos licensing


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