Landlord Responsibility on Property contains Asbestos

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by dd81, 9th Nov, 2016.

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  1. dd81

    dd81 Member

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    Hello All,

    I am considering to purchase a house in QLD for investment that might contains asbestos (it looks like a 30 yrs old house and has some fibro sheets on the walls).

    What are the landlord responsibility for having a house like that? I did a search online and couldn't find much info, nor require landlord to organise any test / inspection for asbestos. What if there is a damage piece of material (that contains asbestos) in the house but no one aware of it? would I expose myself to big risk of being sue if purchase this property?

    I am planning to let the tenant know not to drill any walls etc. but if the tenant still do that, is it something easy to fix by patching it up? or total removal of that section is required?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Moych

    Moych Well-Known Member

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    Are the walls in the property currently in good condition?
    If so, I think your responsibility as a landlord are fulfilled. I'm sure there are 1000's of properties with asbestos walls that are rented without any notification, maybe some of the PM's on here could confirm this but I've not seen it mentioned before. Also the tenant shouldn't be damaging the property (drilling holes into walls) anyway.
    The only time I could see that you would need to do anything is if the walls are not in good condition, or if there is friable asbestos in the house.

    Are you at risk of being sued, maybe a lawyer on here could answer that better, but I would think not. Asbestos use was so wide spread (and in some regional areas they are naturally occurring) that basically everyone has at least some exposure to asbestos fibres. The tenant would have an extremely hard time proving that any exposure from your property alone caused them harm. Furthermore if their exposure was due to their own actions (such as drilling holes into a wall), which were in breach of the agreement between you and the tenant, it would be even harder for them to sue.

    A drill hole would be relatively easy to fix, spray glue works, paint, putty etc. If the panel is cracked though, while the glue or paint would work temporarily it might be easier to remove and dispose of appropriately. Loads more info is available here: http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/resources/pdfs/asbestos-home-renovators-trades-guide.pdf
     
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  3. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    We have asbestos in our PPOR. Most houses built before the mid 1980s do, and thousands of these are rented.

    It is fine if it is not disturbed. Be careful with drilling or sanding to repaint.
    Marg
     
  4. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member Business Member

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    As a landlord, I would say your responsibility extends to making sure there is no damaged - cracks, holes etc - asbestos in the property.
     
  5. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Im looking at 1940's house now in QLD, asbestos looks like in the ceiling.
    Anyway is a law you need to tell future tenants thst the house has asbestos.
     
  6. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Most (older) houses in Queensland would have at least the eaves made of asbestos, mostly bathrooms and kitchens too (unless it was removed when the house was renovated).

    Perhaps this type of "notify the tenant" will come in the future, but not now.
     
  7. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  8. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    From a risk perspective also be careful engaging subcontractors to do work. Subcontractors doing renovation work should be notified / warned and you should ensure they have necessary licenses.

    For NSW - Asbestos licences
     
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  9. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  10. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Asbestos is everywhere, carpenters etc used to saw it up.

    People play too much on the asbestos thing because some govt employees are panic merchants & some demo people are cowboys and dump broken up sheets in public areas, if left untouched, it wont hurt you & even if your cutting it up, I reckon you would have to be unlucky.

    People happily puff away on smokes, yet go on about asbestos, well the smokes with stuff you & cost you a packet to do it.
     
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  11. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK there is only a general duty of care unlike a workplace which is governed by WHS legislation.

    Provided that it is kept in good order there is minimal risk of exposure
     
  12. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks @Scott No Mates.
    Could you look at my stumps thread please in the repair section.;)
     
  13. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @Tranquilo - those stumps are a crack up (literally).

    Either overloaded (compression failure) or rusted reo. Either case will need engineer recommendation ie. I'm stumped!!!

    Seriously though, have the b&p comment and negotiate for replacement prior to settlement or price reduction (get a stump specialist to quote).
     
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  14. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the above. The type of asbestos that is a worry but fortunately much less likely, is friable asbestos. Which means it is not firmly bonded into a product like fibro. The main example of this is loose fill asbestos ceiling/wall insulation. Unlikely to be a issue in QLD.
     
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  15. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't rely on that. Our son's house had different areas of asbestos installed at very different times, maybe 50 years apart. He had to take a small sample from each different area, different era. One area of concern to the asbestos removals, if it turned out was the more dangerous type, would have meant a negative air pressure tent, a government person on site for the removal and blown the cost out by several more thousand.

    Never make assumptions. Get it tested.

    There is a way to tell if the sheet is made after the asbestos was removed from the product. It comes down to the reverse, what is printed, how it is printed, and is quite specific. I won't say more here because it is a few years since I was told how to identify the safe product and I'd hate to get it wrong.

    Anything else, get it tested.
     
  16. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Guy's. Now how to go about with offer. Make an offer subject to B&P of course, and when the issue comes back the stumps ect then say I want a price reduction.
    To get a stump specialist to quote do I send them with B&P?.
    Also internal walls has asbestos wall being an old house, bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen and lounge and dining appear to be resheet (no battons in joins). Even though asbestos internal walls are good condition only needs a paint. Has previous termite damage I have a great termite guy thanks to @wylie
    Anyway its a high demand area may not even get an offer accepted.
     
  17. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe also allow rough costs to replace the walls and ceilings that are asbestos. Holland Park house my son bought two years ago cost $5k to remove all walls except main bedroom and living room (plaster). All other walls and ceilings were asbestos, plus two small rooms downstairs.

    It cost about $5k to replaster those rooms (bathroom, two small bedrooms, powder room, kitchen - walls and ceilings).

    In a hot market, you might have to see what you can push for. Someone else may not factor those costs in and pay more than you are prepared to.
     
  18. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks @wylie it was another post you did about asbestos removel and resheet I have put down $12k to do it. Just by looking at photo's lounge and dining don't have, and possibly hallway.
     
  19. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    I would be surprised if they made any allowance for fibro walls etc, heaps of places like that, but you can try.
     
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  20. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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