The beginning of the second quarter of 2018 saw the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos*) Regulations 2016 come into effect, and this included compliance requirements for body corporates. Complying with the Asbestos Regulations is mandatory and there are heavy penalties in failing to do so. It should be noted however that generally speaking this concerns properties built before the year 2000. The deadline for compliance was the 4th April 2018. However, the good news is that it is not too late to act. And doing so will limit risk.
The first priority for any body corporate is to complete an asbestos survey. This will determine if any asbestos is present in the building. Where asbestos is present, it may require removal and clean up, or management, plus an asbestos plan will need to be drawn up as part of this process. This plan will ensure contractors working at the property are made aware of any asbestos present and take the required precautions where necessary.
What has been surprising is that many property owners have not been properly informed on this new ruling. This is despite industry wide information that has been circulated for an extended period, but either not passed on, or through a lack of knowledge by some administrators.
Much like a Long-Term Maintenance Plan (LTMP) we expect prospective purchasers to start requesting a copy of the asbestos report and plan as a matter of course when undertaking their due diligence. Having completed the asbestos investigation requirements will therefore assist in the sales process.
If you have any questions regarding the information above, or any other Unit Title matters please feel free to call Steve Plummer at Scope Strata for no obligation assistance.
* The term ‘asbestos’ refers to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are non-biodegradable with high tensile strength, poor thermal conducting and very resistant to weathering. Historically, these unique properties made asbestos particularly useful as a building and insulation materials, including use in conduits for electrical wire, pipe lagging, lift brakes, home insulation, roofing and many other purposes. However, evidence has since shown that when asbestos fibres are inhaled they can cause serious long-term health problems, so its use has subsequently been banned.