It’s a situation that has happened to many prospective home buyers. You’ll find the perfect property in a prime location and it’s within your budget. But just as you’ve set your heart on the idea of making it your new home, the seller reveals that they believe asbestos may be present.

This can be very concerning for any buyer. Even if you don’t know very much about asbestos, it is well known as a material that can be hazardous for human health. So does this mean that you should immediately pull out of buying and look elsewhere?

The truth is that there are many factors that still need to be considered and that asbestos is not necessarily as bad as it sounds. Despite its reputation, asbestos is actually common in homes as it was regularly used as a building material until it was banned in 1999. Rather than writing off any home that contains asbestos, it can be best to determine the risk.

Buying a house with asbestos – Our advice

Asbestos certainly can be very hazardous to human health and associated conditions generally do not present symptoms for many years after exposure. So it is definitely the correct thing to do to take precautions and understand the situation as best you can. However, it’s worth remembering that asbestos is only dangerous when the material is disturbed and fibres get into the air. If the asbestos is used in the roofing material and is in good condition with little chance of being interfered with then it is not likely to be a risk to your health. This means that the risk of asbestos is very different for each situation and each property.


It’s always a good idea to have a pre-purchase asbestos survey carried out by professionals any time you’re concerned that there may be asbestos on a property. An asbestos survey will be able to establish the presence of asbestos and help you to understand whether you are at risk. It may also recommend having the asbestos removed, or simply have a plan in place to ensure that exposure is minimised.