Asbestos in rented flat and communal areas

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    Asbestos in rented flat and communal areas

    Hello,

    My friend is renting a flat in a block of flats as a single occupier in South London and has been for a number of years. She found out there was asbestos in the communal areas a year ago due to suddenly some workmen clearing out the asbestos, apparently the asbestos was contained, it just was decided to be cleared out for whatever reason. She did not get any notice of the works so was a surprise and she never knew about the asbestos until that day. She never thought much of it afterwards, assuming the asbestos was gone completely. More recently she found out from a neighbour that the neighbour's flat ceilings contain asbestos and that there is a sticker on the ceiling warning about the asbestos. I imagine the asbestos is contained safely obviously.

    My friend's ceiling does not have any warning whatsoever but the ceiling is exactly the same design and look (so presumably same material) thus likely that she also has asbestos in her ceilings. She is getting worried about all this and asked me to find out a few things regarding all this:

    - Should she have been told by the landlord/agent prior to signing the AST that there is/was asbestos present in the communal area and also inside the flat?
    - If the flat itself does contain asbestos in the ceilings, should there be a notification via a label explaining the presence of asbestos and warning about it, just like the neighbours ceiling did?

    My friend is quite worried now that it could be inside her flat and annoyed she was never told about any of this before signing her AST.

    Many thanks

    #2
    It is likely of no relevance to you whatsoever. The mere presence of asbestos does not carry any element of risk at all - unless you were planning to rip out the ceiling and drill holes in it.

    So no, there is no reason to tell you, because it is not an issue.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks AdrewDod - so there is no legislation requiring landlords to inform tenants about the presence of abestos even though it is not a risk given it hasn't leaked etc?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by leasee123 View Post
        Thanks AdrewDod - so there is no legislation requiring landlords to inform tenants about the presence of abestos even though it is not a risk given it hasn't leaked etc?
        No.

        Asbestos does not leak. Especially if it is painted over. The ONLY issue is dust created when working the material.

        Comment


          #5
          On the asbestos side, it sounds likes your friends landlord has had an asbestos management survey undertaken to identify the asbestos above the communal area ceiling.
          This normally includes taking a load of samples from materials normally containing asbestos. The ceiling may have been tested and may not contain it.
          The management survey also includes a risk assessment on the risk imposed by the asbestos, high risky asbestos is normally loose and easily disturbed. Low risk items like a ceiling are fine if they're left alone.
          Ask if a survey has been done.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Russ93 View Post
            On the asbestos side, it sounds likes your friends landlord has had an asbestos management survey undertaken to identify the asbestos above the communal area ceiling.
            This normally includes taking a load of samples from materials normally containing asbestos. The ceiling may have been tested and may not contain it.
            The management survey also includes a risk assessment on the risk imposed by the asbestos, high risky asbestos is normally loose and easily disturbed. Low risk items like a ceiling are fine if they're left alone.
            Ask if a survey has been done.
            An asbestos survey is a requirement in communal areas. Anywhere with an "artex" type ceiling will receive a notice that asbestos is possibly present and contractors should be warned before any works are carried out.
            Tenants should not be drilling into walls or ceilings anyway but it might be a useful addition to ASTs in future to say asbestos may be present to avoid potential law suits.

            Comment


              #7
              I am uneducated in this matter i would like to have seen some kind of notification that Asbestos was in the flat, the reason is that i may have changed a light fitting etc and small holes may have been drilled into the ceiling or other areas where the material is, if i knew it was there i would not do this or warn any tradespeople, it may not be a legal requirement but i think it would of been helpful.

              Comment


                #8
                Great idea, why not lobby your MP to make asbestos inspections compulsory for all landlords ?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hudson01,

                  Just google ‘asbestos in the home’ and you can self educate yourself on the uses of asbestos in older homes, it’s a bit of an eye opener! Any decent tradesman would not need to be warned by you about potential asbestos as they should be well aware of where it may or may not have been used. Up until a few years ago I thought asbestos was only used in sheet form such as the corrugated sheets on old shed and garage roofs. An older work colleague told me stories from his apprenticeship days back in the 60’s when factory workers would roll up ‘snowballs’ of asbestos and throw them at each other for a laugh not realising the dangers at the time.
                  Another colleague recently had a boiler upgrade and the flu from the old boiler contained asbestos and had to be disposed of correctly, I had no idea it was used in so many different ways.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Some years ago I used to live at a place where there were signs of aesbosts too which made me heavily scared. On one hand I didn't want to live there but on other hands the convenience of that area was very stunning. So what I did I taken the close images of those asbestos walls & spots and shown to aesbestos experts who were miraculously working on my work place who smiled and said this is not asbestos rather something foam & fibre which contractors used to mix in old days. And that came to surface because of the paint being fainted and the wall got swollen.
                    Maybe your situation is different so better to not take it light and take suggestions from experts including forum seniors.

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