Who has the ‘duty to manage’ asbestos in buildings?
If we start at the beginning, under the Control of Asbestos regulations 2012 there is a ‘legal duty’ to manage asbestos in buildings you control. This duty applies to all non-domestic property. Does it apply to you personally?
It applies if:
- You own the building;
- You are responsible through a contract or tenancy agreement;
- You have control of the building but no formal contract or agreement;
- You are the owner and have taken responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building in a multi-occupancy building.
What is the duty?
The duty to manage asbestos requires the person who has the duty to:
- take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in
- presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
- make and keep up-to-date, an asbestos management plan
- periodically review and monitor the plan
- provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them
What types of buildings are affected?
- All non-domestic buildings, whatever the type of business.
- The common areas of domestic buildings, e.g. halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces etc.
- All other domestic properties are not affected by the duty to manage.
Are there any other requirement?
Yes – if you are not the ‘duty holder’ but have information about the building, you must co-operate with the duty holder. For example ‘leaseholders’ must allow managing agents access for inspection.
Now you know who is responsible for managing asbestos, how do you meet that legal obligation?
Please read our blog ‘How do I manage Asbestos?’ for the simplest way to proceed.