Written by Helen Robinson
If you’re the landlord or tenant of a commercial property, you could be responsible for the management of asbestos.
Asbestos in non-domestic properties is covered by the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002. It is estimated that some form of asbestos exists in 4.4 million buildings in the UK.
Due to serious health risks, the regulations on asbestos in commercial properties are particularly strict. Failing to have a plan to deal with asbestos is a criminal offence and could lead to a fine of up to £20,000 and imprisonment for up to 12 months.
In our latest article, the expert solicitors at Commercial Matters take a look at how you can find out if you’re responsible for managing asbestos in your property.
Does your commercial property contain asbestos?
If you know for sure your commercial property was built in or after 2000 it is unlikely to contain asbestos. However, if the property was built on a brownfield site or has old equipment it could contain asbestos.
If your commercial property was built before 2000 you should presume that it contains asbestos unless you know for sure that it doesn’t.
Check the lease to see who is responsible
If your property was built before 2000, you will need to check your lease to see who is responsible for the management of asbestos.
Whichever party is responsible for maintaining all or part of the business premises by virtue of a contract or tenancy will be required to manage asbestos.
If it is not clearly specified who is responsible in the contract or tenancy, anyone who has any control of any part of the property will have a duty to manage asbestos.
Whether the landlord or tenant is required to manage asbestos, they must both co-operate with identifying and managing asbestos in the property.
Putting an asbestos management plan in place
If you are responsible for managing asbestos in your commercial property, you will be required to put an asbestos management plan in place. This should include:
- A risk assessment carried out by a fully qualified asbestos surveyor
- A record of the results of the survey
- A record of the location and condition of asbestos
- A plan to manage the risk caused by asbestos
The information about the location and condition of any asbestos in a commercial property should be provided to:
- Anyone liable to disturb it
- The emergency services
Make sure your business property is fit for purpose by speaking to Commercial Matters
Whether you’re buying or leasing a commercial property, the specialist solicitors at Commercial Matters can help you ensure the property is fit for purpose.
Our dedicated team will offer advice on any checks you will need to carry out and ensure any contacts make it clear who is responsible for the maintenance of the property.
If you’d like to speak to a dedicated commercial solicitor today, call us on 01282 695 400.
Or simply complete our quick online contact form to book your free consultation.