I am thinking of purchasing some flats and building a small property portfolio to provide an income in my old age. I will have a management company doing the day to day management of the portfolio. It has been suggested that I need to have an asbestos management plan in place. Is this the case even if the properties are just basic flats or small houses?
Flats: Firstly, the common areas of flats are not deemed 'commercial premises', they are however considered to be workplaces (as a variety of trades persons may be required to enter them in the normal course of their employment (i.e. postmen, milkmen, maintenance operatives etc.) for this reason they are required to be maintained by the Landlord (perhaps through their appointed managing agent) in good condition, and hazards (including that of Asbestos) managed appropriately, hence the need to ensure that ACMs in these areas or in areas than can be accessed by tradesmen from the common area, (e.g. plant rooms, loft spaces, cellars, waste areas ETC.) have been surveyed and a suitable and sufficient Asbestos Management Plan prepared and the requirements implemented and maintained.
Secondly: If the flats are privately owned (i.e. the occupier has purchased a lease for the property) then the owner occupier is essentially responsible for any asbestos containing materials that are within the premises. If however the landlord lets the flats on a tenancy agreement, the landlord is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the flat, which includes surveying for ACMs and their management.
Lastly: The Landlord will also have duties for Fire risk assessment of the premises and implementing any specific requirements arising from such an assessment; one issue that is often a problem is lease holders fitting front doors (onto common areas) that are not fire doors!
In addition, if person purchasing flats to rent out forms a company to do so, (as is often the case) they will also hold liability for ensuring a host of other measures are performed and managed in respect of legal duties under health and safety generally (i.e. control of contractors, assessment of risks, CDM - as the client, etc... Therefore Shirley, if you are seriously thinking of investing in flats I would recommend a few pound spent firstly with a legal representative experienced in such matters would be a worthwhile investment, before jumping in with both feet...
Thanks Stuart, all good advice.
As the building is being legally transferred, I would be of the opinion the LEA would have a legal obligation to provide relevant information as to the presence of ACMs.
Very good and nice advice.
Thanks for it.
Considering an asbestos management plan is advisable, even for basic flats or small houses in your property portfolio. It ensures the safety of tenants and workers and helps meet regulatory requirements. Consult with professionals to assess and develop a plan to protect your investment. Best of luck with your property ventures!
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