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asbestos report needed or estate agent scam??

(10 Posts)
petra27 Wed 08-May-13 19:28:17

Hello, I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience of this and can help me please as all stuff on the internet I have found about this seem to be written by people touting to do these reports so I don't know how accurate they are.

I live in a house split into 6 flats.

We all own a share of the freehold in a limited company run by the residents.

One of the flats is selling up to move on. His estate agent today told him we need to supply an asbestos report which is a legal requirement and we should have had one for years prior to this. They can get it done at the special rate of £400 +Vat.

We have never heard of this, and a flat sold last year with no mention of this, and again a flat sold two years prior to that.

Is it necessary or is this just a money making idea from the estate agent?

We pay £40 a month in each for upkeep, we use the cash solely for maintenance. No one earns any income or profit from the company. I think this means we aren't a commercial landlord? Does this mean it doesn't apply???

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 08-May-13 19:35:26

Most commercial properties have to have one. We've had one fine at work and if we are doing work in another property (construction industry) ask to see theirs to fulfill our h & a obligations to our workmen.

Not sure about private flats though.

mummytime Wed 08-May-13 19:37:19

I think the Estate Agent is trying to con them. I would use another agent and report that one to Trading Standards. A normal home buying survey should list places where Asbestos may be, and give some general recommendations. You could also ask the Estate Agent what qualifications they have in Asbestos identification.

A full Asbestos Survey is like a piece of string, it can be as long as you want it.

Is there old lagging on any pipes (30 years old roughly, at least?). Is there a very old lagged hot water tank? If yes then these should be looked at as a matter of urgency.
If there is suspicious cement or board, then these are fine unless someone drills into them.
If there is Artex, then this could contain Asbestos, but is fine until it is tampered with.

petra27 Wed 08-May-13 19:42:21

Oh thanks for the replies....

Yes I do have a hunch they might be trying it on based on a couple of other things they've said.

What I'm not sure about is if flats where all the leaseholders jointly own the freehold would count as commercial or not??

(I don't think there is any actual risk of there being any asbestos as the house was only split into flats in the very late 80s after a bad fire, so everything was pretty much new from then.)

purpleroses Wed 08-May-13 20:29:38

I sold a flat a few years back (2008) with an asbestos shed roof - I knew it was and was open with the buyer about it. Nobody ever mentioned needing an asbestos survey - to me or the freeholder - and as far as I'm aware, the only legal requirement before marketing a house/flat is the energy efficiency survey. Everything else the prospective buyer can pay for if they choose to.

purpleroses Wed 08-May-13 20:30:51

Asbestos was still in use in the 80s though - so quite possible it's in your flat. The general consensus is that it's fine if you leave it alone. Just don't rip it out yourself.

narmada Thu 09-May-13 20:42:18

This sounds like total BS on the part of the agents. Ring the Health and Safety Exec and ask them what they think....

petra27 Fri 10-May-13 00:28:06

that is a great idea, thanks.
I'll google and ring them tomorrow.

digerd Fri 10-May-13 12:57:21

My surveyor lied and made a report on the loft structure, but was never in it.

When I went up there I found a very large asbestos bath-looking thing which was much too large to pass through the hatch confused.
It must have been put there before the ceilings and hatch were built in 1961.

fubbsy Fri 10-May-13 13:08:21

I am in a similar situation share-of-the-freehold flat. I agree, I think it's a scam.

When flats here have changed hands here, we (the freehold company) never heard from the estate agents at all, only the conveyancing solicitors.

If it were one of my neighbours selling I would tell them 1) it may be a scam and they should ask their solicitor about the legal requirements; 2) if a survey is needed to sell the flat, they need to pay for it, it is not the responsibility of the freehold company.

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