If you are buying a property for the first time there are a lot of things that you need to think about. This means something like asbestos can get pushed low down on your list of priorities. You might believe that asbestos is no longer a problem in the UK given that it was banned from use in 1999 – and it is true that if you are buying a property built after 2000 it will not contain asbestos.
However, if the property was built before 1999, there is a chance that the material was used somewhere in the construction. It is important, then, that you should be aware of asbestos and pay careful attention to elements of the building that could contain asbestos. In some cases the previous owner will need to make you aware of any asbestos on the property, however, the information could be old or out-of-date and in some cases they might not even be aware of the asbestos themselves.
You might assume that if you have a property survey carried out, this will inform you of any asbestos found. However, a standard property survey will be more concerned with the typical problems and structural defects of the property rather than looking for instances where asbestos has been used. This means that they may not uncover any asbestos even if it is present.
First-time buyers do need to be aware of the dangers of asbestos as if you find out later that you have asbestos in your home and it is in poor condition, you may need to go through the process of having it removed and disposed of. That’s why it can be so vital to have a pre-purchase asbestos survey conducted.
This will look for asbestos to let you know if there is asbestos on the property, as well as providing you with details on the condition and information on the likely costs of either management or eventual removal of the substance.