Landlord duty of care for asbestos maintenance

The use of asbestos in any capacity was banned nationwide in 1999. Despite these changes, there are still thousands of new cases of asbestos-related disease diagnosed within the UK every year.

This high rate of diagnosis is due to the long latency period of illnesses caused by asbestos, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Often symptoms do not develop until decades after initial exposure.

Asbestos may be considered by some an ‘old issue' or a thing of the past; however, many public and residential buildings still contain asbestos.

When in good condition and left undisturbed, asbestos containing materials (ACMs) pose no threat to health. It is only when materials show signs of damage, breakage and general wear that there may be cause for concern.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, Seth Lovis & Co's asbestos claim solicitors in London could help you seek the compensation you, and your family, deserve.

Who is responsible for asbestos maintenance in a privately rented property?

If you are a landlord of one or multiple properties and you are aware that asbestos is present within a building structure, you hold a duty of care which may lead to you being liable should a tenant or visitor to the property be put at risk of exposure to, or come into contact with, asbestos.
If you live in rented accommodation, or in a building containing multiple properties, the landlord has a duty of care to ensure that any asbestos present in the building structure is properly assessed and managed.

A landlord's duty of care only extends to communal areas of the property. These can include, but are not exclusive to, the following spaces:

  • Corridors
  • Staircases
  • Store rooms
  • Lifts
  • Foyers
  • Garages
  • Outbuildings

The duty of care requires all landlords to conduct regular risk assessments on communal areas of properties which hold ACMs. If checks are not regularly carried out, or if there is a failure to adequately record each assessment and its findings, the landlord can be prosecuted. There must also be evidence that control measures have been put in place in areas where asbestos is found to be present.

If you have been exposed to asbestos while living in rented accommodation and go on to receive a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease, you may be able to claim compensation if your landlord did not adhere to the rules on asbestos management.

Work conducted on asbestos materials

If any materials containing asbestos show signs of damage they need to be dealt with swiftly. Repairs and removal must be carried out by a qualified tradesperson who is permitted to work with the harmful substance and trained to dispose of asbestos materials safely.

Before hiring a contractor to work within a property you let, it is vital that you carry the landlord carries out checks to ensure that the tradesperson you employed is trained and/or licensed to undertake any necessary work.

If these checks are not conducted and the work carried out is below health and safety guidelines, the duty holder may be held accountable for any subsequent exposure to asbestos that tenants or visitors to the site experience while in a communal space.

If you are self-employed or employ others as part of your property business, you will also need to ensure you comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012). The legislation can be found here.

For more information on the Duty to Manage, visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Asbestos Claim Centre - helping you claim compensation for an asbestos-related disease

If you have developed an asbestos-related disease due to exposure to asbestos within a communal space or public property, you may be eligible to claim compensation.

Our asbestos claim solicitors in London can offer you legal advice and representation should you wish to pursue a claim. Contact the Asbestos Claim Centre on 0800 508 8747/b> or find out more here

 
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