There are many regulations covering asbestos related issues, this page can only give a brief outline of such legislation and is for guidance purposes only.
The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations were introduced in 2002 and came into force in 2004 with further changes being made in 2006 and 2012, these are collectively know as the CAR Regulations. Indeed, you may be in breach of the law at this time if you have not taken steps to identify and manage asbestos in your premises.
These regulations placed a duty on those in control of any "non-domestic" premises to take steps to identify any asbestos within such a premises and to "manage" any asbestos found.
Essentially, a non-domestic premises is one that is not residential, for example a shop, office, warehouse, factory, school, cafe or even some communal areas contained within residential blocks.
A "Dutyholder" is someone in control of a premises. This can be a landlord but will more than likely include a tenant too, particularly where members of the public visit or employees are on-site.
Many tenants like to say "my landlord deals with all that" but, in reality, there is a good chance they will be a dutyholder themselves. Responsibilities for a premises are usually decided in the lease and a landlord may require a tenant to arrange a survey as part of their obligations under a lease.
Asbestos Deaths in the contruction industry continue to occur at an alarming rate and this has led HSE to take action in relation to Asbestos.
Asbestos was, surprisingly enough, actually used until 1999 in the UK despite the risks being known about long before.
The good news is that, should asbestos be identified in your premises, it does not need to be removed if it is not in bad condition. It can also, in certain cases, be "abated" or repaired.
Asbestos is generally only a danger when it is disturbed and, as a dutyholder, if asbestos was present in your premises, you would need to make information available to people such as contractors who may disturb it whilst working in your premises.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.