Landlords - asbestos safety

Asbestos is a potentially harmful substance and is now banned. Any building built before the year 2000 may contain asbestos.

Asbestos is usually safe as long as it is maintained in a good condition and not disturbed. If it gets damaged it can produce tiny dust particles which, if inhaled, can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. 

It is classified as a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Landlords have a legal responsibility to manage the risk associated with any asbestos present in the property.

You should identify areas in your property which may contain asbestos, assess the condition of the material, and depending on its condition:

  • label the asbestos
  • seal the asbestos
  • remove the asbestos

Great care should be taken when doing any work around asbestos. Do not drill into, saw or disturb any materials containing asbestos. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can give detailed advice about safe procedures. 

Any removal work done on the asbestos must be done by a contractor who is licensed by the Health and Safety Executive.

Where might I find asbestos?

  • Eaves, gutters and rainwater fall pipes
  • Fire blankets
  • Garage and shed roofs 
  • Linings for walls, ceilings and doors
  • Insulation panels in some storage heaters
  • Bath panels
  • Central heating flues
  • Loose asbestos packing between floors and in partition walls
  • Floor tiles
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