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Asbestos Surveys in HMO and Student lets

I recently carried out a Regulation 4 survey on a HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation). The landlord seemed completely unaware of the responsibilities he had to the tenants and for compliance. Let alone how to help safeguard the occupants and any contractors carrying out works.

He told me that the survey had been organised by a third party and he seemed very confident that there was 'no asbestos in the hallway'.

The communal entrance and hallway had asbestos textured coatings (artex), an asbestos cement lining to the fuse/electrical cupboard, and AIB (asbestos insulating board) ceiling panels within the external bin cupboard that also created a ceiling to an internal cupboard. There were also partially removed floor tiles and bitumen adhesive to the floor slab (both positive for asbestos).

Some of the panels were in poor condition and the textured coating to the ceiling had obviously been recently drilled into to fit new lighting. I guess not by any trained operatives hand or controlled conditions.

He was genuinely surprised (and thankful) after the discussion, pointing out his responsibilities and the action that could be potentially taken against him seemed to hit home and I'm confident that he will act in accordance to the required regulations from now on.

I'm sure that the larger letting agencies are all too well aware of the asbestos regulations and how they must act along with their clients for compliance, I do wonder though how many of the smaller, pop up agencies, advise their clients correctly or the self managed landlords are fully aware of the potential dangers and their ongoing responsibilities.

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