Do I need an asbestos survey – 12 reasons you could need one
Last Updated on 10 October 2023
Are you asking yourself ‘Do I need an asbestos survey?’
Commercial properties built before 2000 should all have an asbestos register (survey) in place, and any located ACM’s need be managed before being reviewed on an annual basis.
However, this is not the case as unfortunately, many UK properties have not undergone an asbestos survey, or the appropriate management controls are not in place.
When this is combined with a lack of awareness among tradesmen, the general public, and worse still, property owners, it can lead to a lot of confusion.
For many individuals and organisations, the first time that they realise they are required to provide asbestos information is for one of 12 reasons, which we’ll look at in more detail below.
12 reasons why you might find yourself needing an asbestos survey
1. Management Asbestos Surveys
If your (non-domestic) property was built before 2000, there is a legal duty to have an asbestos survey in place. This duty is imposed by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. A management survey should discover any potential materials that contain ACM’s. The management survey is the starting point for ongoing asbestos management within a property.
If your property needs a survey, RB Asbestos can help to arrange for one to be carried out on the premises.
2. Refurbishment/Demolition Survey
If you are planning work on a property that exceeds the scope of the original survey, then you will need a more detailed (invasive) survey before you can proceed. This type of survey is a ‘refurbishment/ demolition’ survey. This is also a legal requirement under the asbestos regulations.
3. Asbestos Management Plan
If asbestos is present in the property, you need a plan detailing how you will manage the material, keeping occupants, tradesmen and visitors safe from exposure. A management plan details how you will protect these persons from asbestos on a daily basis. This is a legal requirement.
Discover how RB Asbestos can help you create an asbestos management plan.
4. Asbestos Management Plan Annual Update
Asbestos containing materials ACM’s need regular frequent monitoring (at least annually) to ensure they don’t show evidence of disturbance, degradation or their relative risk changes. All asbestos products should be re-inspected annually unless the risk is particularly low and you can demonstrate adequate controls.
5. Buying a Property
If you are buying a property (commercial or residential pre-2000) you should ideally have an asbestos survey. If you purchase the property without a survey and later find out it contains ACM’s, then it becomes your problem. Often this is only realised following a traditional building survey, or at the request of the lender who is effectively also taking some of the risk.
6. Selling a Property
Sellers (as with number 5 above) often only encounter the need for a survey when a buyer, buyer’s agent or lender make the request. It’s not illegal to sell a house in the UK with asbestos, but if you are aware of the asbestos you should disclose this to potential buyers.
7. Entering a Lease
If you sign a lease, where you look after the maintenance of a property, then the responsibility for the asbestos, in most cases, lies with you. You should seek up to date information from your prospective landlord to ensure any asbestos present is in a safe condition and manageable.
8. Exiting a lease and Dilapidations
When you exit a lease you will need to ensure you have kept your asbestos information up to date and any asbestos is in a good condition. The landlord will generally expect this. If you haven’t complied with the statutory obligations, then you may be charged as part of the dilapidations process.
9. Moving Property into a Pension
Directors will often move property into some form of pension arrangement. The trustees will generally expect you to have up to date asbestos information so they can value the asset appropriately.
10. Utility company installing cables
This is a more recent phenomenon. As IT systems, electrical or heating systems are upgraded, the company in most cases will ask for an up to date survey. A management survey may not suffice, and it may need to be a refurbishment/ demolition survey to reflect any impending work to the fabric of the building.
11. Local Authority Requirement
You may have planning permission for a new development, extension or modification to a property. As part of the process you may be required to supply an appropriate asbestos survey to the local authority.
12. Landlord Common Areas
If you are a landlord and you look after commercial or residential properties, then the legislation requires that you are aware of asbestos in those ‘common areas’ of the property that you control. These areas can be overlooked and includes corridors. Stairwells, roof spaces, plant rooms and car parking areas.
Contact us today for help with asbestos surveys
If you are concerned with regards to any of these 12 reasons, please don’t hesitate to contact a specialist at RB Asbestos today. View the full range of asbestos services available online.
To speak directly to one of our friendly and knowledgeable advisors, give our team a call now on 0800 141 2676.
Alternatively, if you are unable to speak to us over the phone right now, you can request for us to contact you at a more convenient time by completing our quick and simple online contact form.