Protecting Australian from asbestos and knowing your obligations
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has launched a new information campaign informing residential property buyers, sellers, renters and landlords of their responsibilities and rights when it comes to asbestos when buying or renting a home.
If a home was built before 1990, it can contain asbestos both inside and outside. Asbestos is still found in one in three Australian homes.
Asbestos is known to cause cancer. Asbestos is dangerous when damaged, disturbed during renovation or repairs or deteriorating. But by knowing where asbestos can be in a residential property, we can all keep safe.
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency chief executive Justine Ross says it is vital buyers, sellers, renters and landlords are aware of their rights and obligations, when buying, selling or renting a home: “The campaign will encourage sellers to disclose the presence of asbestos in their properties, to minimise the health risks for buyers. In some states and territories, they may be legally obligated to do this.
“Similarly, we want landlords to identify, disclose and manage the presence of asbestos in their properties, to minimise the health risks for renters. Landlords may also be eligible for tax deductions for asbestos testing and removal.
“The outcome we are hoping to achieve is to educate buyers and renters about how to stay safe around asbestos, by understanding where it might be in a home and how to manage it appropriately.”
A pre-purchase building inspection is not required to include whether asbestos is present in the property. It is recommended that for homes built before 1990 an asbestos professional is engaged to conduct an assessment to identify whether asbestos-containing materials are present, their location and condition. Asbestos professionals can also provide guidance on how to manage asbestos risks.
There is also a simple Asbestos in residential property disclosure tool that includes this diagram and some warnings about when asbestos is dangerous. This tool can be downloaded and printed, so if you’re a seller, agent or landlord you can provide a copy to buyers and renters.