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  • Profile photo of propertyboypropertyboy
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 232

    Hi all,

    My tenant recently reported to my managing agent that they located some asbestos in the garden of my investment property as they were digging the yard.

    I straight away had a licensed asbestos specialist visit to take a sample and have it tested.

    The sample has outlined asbestos has been detected.

    What are my duties and responsibilities as a landlord going forward? I am happy to arrange for the asbestos to be removed if required.

    Have I been in breach any of my landlord obligations and can this lead to litigation? The tenant is claiming he has breathed in the fibres while digging in the garden.

    The below provides further guidance in Victoria and it outlines: “As a tenant, you can ask for information about asbestos in a property before signing the rental agreement. Be aware that the landlord is not required by law to have this information. Asbestos generally poses little risk to your health, provided it is in good condition and is not disturbed.”

    Profile photo of Steve McKnightSteve McKnight
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 1,763

    Thanks for posting the question.

    It is an interesting one and, without being a lawyer or offering advice, seems to be a matter of providing a safe place for your tenant to reside. If the asbestos is unsafe in its current condition, then I it would seem logical that the owner has responsibility for removing it safely.

    Of course, if the tenant was responsible for putting it there, or ‘disturbing it’ so as to now make it unsafe (whereas before it was safe), it might be a different issue.

    And then there is the humanity aspect to this. Would I want anything in my property that was a known risk to someone renting it? No. I’d quickly and promptly and safely get it gone.

    All that said, if you are in any doubt then a call to the relevant tenancy dispute helpline in your State would be worthwhile to see what the protocol is. You might also want to have an ‘informal’ chat with your insurance company.


    – Steve

    Steve McKnight | Pty Ltd | CEO

    Success comes from doing things differently

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