When you buy a new home, it’s not usually a legal requirement to undertake a domestic asbestos survey.

But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it, as asbestos discovery at a later stage could become costly if removal works are required.

We recently heard from a client that had bought a property as a renovation project and ended up with £8,000 worth of unexpected asbestos removal costs.

An opportunity missed

The young family had invested in their first home and were excited to get started turning it into their dream place.

Having fulfilled all the usual legal obligations, they assumed they had taken reasonable precautions before completing their purchase.

Unfortunately, they decided not to undertake a domestic asbestos survey, an advisable and worthwhile measure – especially on older properties built pre-2000.

When work started, it became apparent asbestos containing materials were located in several areas throughout the property. 

The homeowners had to vacate the property and following a thorough investigation from one of our surveying team, it was confirmed to have:

  • Asbestos insulating board to boxings within the house
  • An under-stairs cupboard fully lined with asbestos insulating board
  • Asbestos insulating board throughout the ceiling of the integrated garage
  • Asbestos cement through pipe to boiler

All of these occurrences had to be addressed correctly before renovation work could restart and a new heating system installed.

An avoidable cost

The safe removal of the asbestos ended up costing an additional £8,000 and had a huge impact on the family’s budget for the rest of the renovations.

As well as the financial costs, the time delays were also significant due the time taken to carry out the domestic asbestos survey, finding a suitable asbestos removal contractor, the HSE’s required two weeks’ notice period before beginning asbestos removal and the removal itself.

And the most frustrating thing is that all of this disruption could’ve been foreseen costed for earlier in the renovation process with an initial domestic asbestos survey.

Like many younger homebuyers, the family had little knowledge of asbestos, or the dangers associated with it.

And typically, even experienced homebuyers familiar with the dangers of asbestos use in older buildings may not be aware of the benefits of asbestos surveys.

Luckily, we were able to undertake the asbestos survey to high-standard, produce a report and advice the family on what their next steps would be, for example helping them find a competent removals contractor.

Although banks and mortgage lenders are more frequent asking for asbestos surveys to be undertaken for domestic properties, they still aren’t a legal requirement and other home buyers might suffer in a similar fashion.

Buying a home? Consider a domestic asbestos survey

Avoid the time and stress caused by undiscovered asbestos in your property with a domestic asbestos survey. A domestic asbestos survey for older properties is a smart investment – both in terms of your budget and your peace-of-mind.

To talk to a member of our specialist team about your asbestos survey needs, please contact us today.