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Do I need an Asbestos Survey?

DO I need an Asbestos Survey?​One of the most common questions we receive from customers is do I need an asbestos survey? There can be various reasons for the enquiry but most are either because someone is looking to have some work carried out on a property, because they are buying a property where a house buyers survey has identified possible asbestos containing materials or because the property is commercial and built prior to 2000.

There are two types of asbestos survey – Management and R&D. The type of survey required depends on what is going to happen at the property. An asbestos survey is not the same and as asbestos management plan.

Whilst it may not be a legal requirement to have a survey carried out, there is a duty of care to manage asbestos for all non-domestic premises and common parts of domestic premises which is rented or leased. Obtaining an asbestos survey enables building owners to insure they are observing their duty of care and aren’t putting any staff or members of the public at risk.


Do I need an asbestos survey?

If the property is commercial and was constructed or refurbished before 2000, and if you answer yes to any of the following questions, it’s likely you will need an asbestos survey carried out:

  • Are there known asbestos containing materials at the building which cannot be managed by a competent person?
  • Are any asbestos materials damaged, pealing or breaking?
  • Is there any dust near any suspected asbestos containing materials, or have they come lose?
  • Are you planning to have any work carried out on the property (including plumbing, electrical, refurbishment or demolition)?
  • Are you selling the property?

If the property is residential (i.e. privately owned) and was constructed or refurbished before 2000, the law is different but you may still need to have an asbestos survey carried out. In particular, this will be the case if you are having any refurbishment work carried our (such as a re-wire) or if you are demolishing walls or removing ceilings. The survey will be required by any trades that may work on your property. It will also let you know where there may be asbestos products should you decide to carry out any DIY work on your property.

Never break or damage any material which may contain asbestos to try to identify it. You can’t tell if a material contains asbestos just by looking at it.


I’m the landlord of a privately rented property. Do I need an asbestos survey?

This depends on the way in which the property is rented. It is generally only the responsibility of the landlord to have a survey carried out on is there are communal areas. If there are communal areas such as stairwells, common rooms, shared kitchens or bathrooms or bin stores, it is the responsibility of the landlord to manage asbestos in those areas. It is up to the tenant to manage asbestos in the areas that they privately rent i.e. rooms or flats.

A private landlord is not usually legally obliged to have an asbestos survey carried out on a privately rented property other than communal areas.


What type of asbestos survey will I need?

To find out which type of asbestos survey is needed, please visit our dedicated asbestos surveys page which explains the different types of asbestos surveys and where you can also obtain a quotation. The type of survey required vary depending on what is needed. For example:

  • buying a property – a management survey (asbestos mortgage survey) will usually suffice, unless you plan to carry out significant refurbishment or demolition works
  • demolishing a building – you’ll need an R&D survey in most cases
  • insurance company asking for a survey – then a management survey will usually suffice