New workplace health and safety asbestos regulations came into effect in early April and apply to both commercial and residential property owners.

The new regulations may, at first glance, seem to be more relevant to commercial properties, but they also apply to residential properties, particularly when renovations or maintenance works are being carried out. 

As a residential landlord or a body corporate, it is important to understand the obligations provided by the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 to ensure that you do not break the law and face substantial fines. 

It has recently been reported that in order for landlords to stay on the right side of the law, there are now three golden rules when it comes to asbestos:

  1. Know Your Property – does it have any asbestos and if so what, where, how much and what condition is it in? 
  2. Risk Exposure – ensure your tenants and other property users are not exposed to the risk of friable asbestos; 
  3. Asbestos Management Plan – no matter how simple, have one. The plan shows where the asbestos is, what timetable is in place to leave or remove asbestos, what procedures to follow for workers and tenants.”

Landlords should consider the potential presence of asbestos, the condition of any materials potentially containing asbestos and any upcoming or future works required to be undertaken on the property.  A professional asbestos surveyor can assist you with complying with your obligations under these regulations.