January 28 2013

We get approached by many clients that are either selling or buying a property and have seen a copy of the homebuyer’s report which has indicated that there may be asbestos present in the property. Usually the report would detail to some extent the suspected location but generally no samples are carried out.

When our client is the buyer they are naturally keen to resolve these issues as the purchase tends to be quite far down the line when these ‘surveys’ are carried out and they could potentially suffer a financial loss if the sale falls through. They are often looking for cost reductions on the property they are purchasing if it has been highlighted that asbestos may be present to cover the cost of any removal works that may be required to be carried out. Vice versa when our client is the vendor they are keen to show that any asbestos identified is of minimal cause for concern and maximise the profitability of the property.

The clients that contact us can be looking for a sample to be taken on a suspected ACM (asbestos containing material) that is detailed within the report. We can send a surveyor out to site to take a sample and have this analysed at a UKAS accredited laboratory to determine the presence of asbestos.

We often recommend an asbestos survey is carried out- this would involve sending a surveyor to the property where ALL suspected ACM’s would be analysed.

There are two types of survey you could have carried out:

  • A management survey involves minor intrusion and minor disturbance and will locate any ACM’s that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activities, foreseeable maintenance or by installing new equipment.
  • A refurbishment/demolition survey must locate all ACM’s and involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance. The area needs to be vacated and certified ‘fit for reoccupation’ after the survey.

Dependant on the location of the property and numbers of suspected ACM’s, it can on occasion be more cost effective to have a full survey than a number of samples taken and analysed.

We would be happy to advise on what route we think would be best suited to your needs.