Residential Asbestos Surveys
We work with homeowners, those buying or selling a house, landlords, property management companies and estate agents, providing asbestos surveys of residential properties nationwide but in particular across the South East, South Wales and London.
There are various reasons you may require an asbestos survey of your residential property, including:
- If you are buying or selling a house, as they are often requested by mortgage lenders
- If you are undertaking any refurbishment or demolition work
- If you are undertaking extensive DIY; or if you are a landlord and need to meet your obligations under current legislation
The type of asbestos survey required for a residential property will be dependent on the reason for the survey; when buying or selling you would most likely need an asbestos management survey, but if you are undertaking extensive building work then you would require either a refurbishment or demolition asbestos survey.
In each case, the surveyor will assess each area of the property, taking small samples of any suspect materials which can then be analysed and tested for asbestos. Once the samples have been analysed at our in-house asbestos laboratory, you will then receive a report which contains photographs of the materials sampled, plans to show the location of the samples taken and the extent of any asbestos identified, together with the sample results and recommendations if asbestos is present. Following the survey at your residential property, we are on hand to answer any queries you may have, or assist with any remedial works that may be required.
Asbestos legal requirements for owners of residential properties
Residential properties are not covered by legislation in the same way that commercial properties are. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR2012) places a duty of care on the owners and managers of commercial properties to manage the potential risks posed by asbestos. The regulations also cover the common parts of residential blocks (stairwells and corridors etc.) but they do not cover residential properties themselves. When you are purchasing a property, you are not required by law to have an asbestos survey carried out, however it it highly recommended, especially if you are planning renovation work.
Whilst residential properties may not be subject to the same legislation as commercial properties under CAR2012, if you are undertaking larger scale refurbishment or demolition work, then your works may be covered by The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, part of which will relate to asbestos, but your architect or builder should be able to advise further regarding this or you can contact us here at Core.
It is just as important to understand the location and extent of asbestos within residential properties as it is in commercial properties. This is where an asbestos survey comes in.
Type of asbestos survey required for a residential property
The type of asbestos survey you will require in a residential property will depend on the purpose of the survey. The types of asbestos survey undertaken for residential properties are the same as those undertaken within commercial properties, these being, Asbestos Management Surveys, Refurbishment Asbestos Surveys and Demolition Asbestos Surveys.
Asbestos management surveys
If you require a survey purely for peace of mind; if you are purchasing a property and your mortgage lender has requested a survey; or if a chartered building survey/home-buyer report has recommended an asbestos survey due to suspected asbestos materials, then you will most likely require an asbestos management survey.
If asbestos is in good condition and is not likely to succumb to damage then it can remain in situ, but if it is damaged then removal may be required. Depending on the type and extent of asbestos-containing materials, removal can be expensive and so knowing about it prior to purchasing a property is essential. It is also useful information when ensuring you remain safe during DIY projects.
Refurbishment & Demolition asbestos surveys
If you are planning refurbishment or any kind of demolition, then you will require a refurbishment asbestos survey or demolition asbestos survey. It is important to note that if you are planning to undertake works on a property you are purchasing, due to the level of intrusive survey work required, it is unlikely you will get permission to undertake these types of asbestos surveys until you own the property. In these instances, it is important to remember that if you have had an asbestos management survey undertaken prior to purchasing a property, but are then planning refurbishment once you own it, you will need to upgrade your survey and always keep in mind that additional asbestos may be identified once you own the property and following the more intrusive survey.
Residential Asbestos Survey FAQs
What is a Residential Asbestos Survey?
A Residential Asbestos Survey is a survey that is conducted to locate, identify and assess the condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in a residential property. There isn’t a specific survey called a ‘Residential Asbestos Survey’, it is in fact a ‘Management, Refurbishment or Demolition Survey’, but of a residential property. The exact type of survey will depend on what the intended use of the survey is going to be.
Why is a Residential Asbestos Survey necessary?
Asbestos surveys within residential properties are not a legal requirement unless it is the common parts of a block of flats or in cases where the residential property is owned by a housing association or council. A survey may be undertaken for peace of mind, due to a suspect material being identified, or because building works or demolition is due to take place. Nowadays, an asbestos survey may also be requested by a prospective homeowner prior to a purchase and may be requested by a mortgage provider.
When should a Residential Asbestos Survey be conducted?
Whilst a survey may not be a legal requirement, it can be good practice to have a survey undertaken prior to purchasing a property.
How is a Residential Asbestos Survey conducted?
The survey should be undertaken by an asbestos surveyor with the BOHS P402 as a minimum qualification and it is strongly recommended that a UKAS-accredited company is appointed (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). The survey includes taking samples of suspect materials and sending them to a UKAS-accredited laboratory for analysis.
Who is qualified to conduct a Residential Asbestos Survey?
The survey should be undertaken by an asbestos surveyor with the BOHS (British Occupational Hygiene Society) P402 as a minimum qualification and it is strongly recommended that a UKAS accredited company is appointed (United Kingdom Accreditation Service).
How is the asbestos identified during the survey?
The qualified surveyor will visually identify any suspect materials and then samples of those materials will be taken safely, and then sent to a UKAS-accredited laboratory for analysis, to identify whether or not asbestos is present.
What are the common types of asbestos found in residential properties?
Common types of asbestos containing materials found in residential properties include asbestos cement, boiler flues, floor tiles and textured coatings to ceilings (Artex). Asbestos containing materials may contain blue asbestos fibres (Crocidolite), brown asbestos fibres (Amosite) or white asbestos fibres (Chrysotile).
What are the recommendations provided in a Residential Asbestos Survey report?
The report will provide recommendations on how to manage the asbestos in situ or whether it is recommended that it be removed. If removal is recommended, then the report will also confirm whether this needs to be undertaken by a Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor (LARC).
How often should a Residential Asbestos Survey be repeated?
There is no legal requirement to undertake a management survey or reinspection survey of a residential property unless it is the common parts of a residential block, or it is owned by a housing association or council. A homeowner may wish to have the asbestos checked at periodic intervals for peace of mind, but they are under no legal obligation. If the property is owned by a council or housing association then an annual asbestos reinspection is recommended.
How is the asbestos managed or removed after the survey?
Unless the residential property comprises of the common parts of a residential block, or it is owned by a housing association or council then it does not need to be formerly managed. A homeowner may wish to have the asbestos periodically inspected by a qualified surveyor for peace of mind. If it is the common parts or owned by a housing association or council, then a formal reinspection regime should be in place. If following the survey, the asbestos poses a high risk then removal of the material may be recommended. Certain asbestos materials must be removed by a Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor (LARC) who will work in accordance with HSG247 Asbestos: The licensed contractors’ guide. For materials which do not have to be removed by a LARC, it is still essential that remedial works or removal takes place in accordance with the Health & Safety Executives Approved Code Of Practice (ACOP) and that suitable training has been undertaken.