Information on asbestos – Introduction
Asbestos was widely used in the UK as building materials for domestic and commercial properties. Being strong, durable and resistant to heat, asbestos was a perfect material to use for building purposes. Now banned for use in the UK, it is illegal to use any type (Blue, Brown or White) of asbestos.
Where was asbestos used in the UK?
With asbestos fibres being stronger than steel , it’s use was widespread in building materials such as:
- Corrugated Cement Sheeting (Like on Garage and outbuilding roofs)
- Cement wall panels
- Roof Tiles
- Floor tiles
- Cement rainwater goods such as guttering and downpipes
- Pipe and boiler lagging
- Insulating boards
- Insulation for electrical and fire resistance
Legal Duties to Manage Asbestos
Anyone who has the responsibility for the repair and maintenance of a building has the duty to manage and organise asbestos removal (as required). This responsibility forms part of the duty holders “duty to manage asbestos” , which is stipulated under The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR). The HSE have a handy guide which breaks down who is responsible for asbestos in domestic and non-domestic properties. You can check it out here
What is a Duty Holder?
The “duty holder” is every person who has an obligation of any extent in relation to the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises or any means of access or egress to or from these premises” – CAR Reg 4 (I). In non-domestic premises the liability under CAR Reg 4 depends on the lease agreement in place with regards maintenance and repair.
Where a landlord passes repair and maintenance responsibility to the tenant – The tenant would generally become the duty holder under CAR 2012. The landlord should ensure that the tenant is aware of the liability and ensure that it is complied with. For common, external parts/structures the landlord usually retains the obligation to maintain and repair these.
NOTE: Landlords need to be aware that if the duty holder liability is passed to the tenant and the tenant does not carry out the duties under Reg 4 CAR 2012, then the landlord would need to intervene and carry out necessary works.
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