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Residential sales and lettings and dealing with asbestos detection

Debbie Hales asks, "What's correct in the instance where asbestos could be present?"

A useful article on the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) website: 'Material information – what to know and what happens next' refers to guidance published by the National Trading Standards Estate and Lettings Agency Team. The guidance covers residential sales and lettings across the UK and is split into 3 parts A, B and C.

Part A requires agents and property portals to publish details during market listing on matters including council tax and charges, tenure type and asking price.

Part B covers information that should be covered for all properties, – such as the type of property, the building materials used, the number of rooms and information about utilities and parking.

Part C is information that only needs to be established if the property is affected by the issue – such as flood risks, restrictive covenants or building safety matters.

What section does asbestos come under?

My gut tells me C as it should only affect pre-2000 builds but is that correct?

Why am I asking? Well, if you refer to the HSE's website, 'The Duty to Manage Asbestos in Buildings' it states:

"You must identify all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) present in the building that could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy. This should include routine and foreseeable maintenance and cleaning activities."

Asbestos survey - when and on whose instruction?

At what point would the asbestos survey be carried out and who would be responsible for instructing the qualified surveyors?

Am I right in thinking it would be the seller? If so, who would be responsible for informing the seller that this needs to be carried out?

Hopefully it is the agent, as currently by the time we receive a survey request, it is because they are just about to exchange contracts, making the experience fraught for all involved.

At the moment it seems to only come to light when the mortgage company has requested it, to protect their risk.

Does anyone else think the same or I am completely off and need advising?

Ed - you can reply in the 'Comments' section below ;)

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We also cover the subject of surveys in a short video: 'What is an Asbestos survey?'