asbestos roof tiles, exposure risk?

Discussion in 'General Property Investment Discussion' started by sacha lee, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. sacha lee

    sacha lee New Member

    im planning on buying a flat in the uk, it is the 2nd floor flat on a stucco fronted property built around 1870s with 3 floors. i am quite keen on the size and condition of flat, but after showing interest i found out the roof contains asbestos soffits/ insulating board, and cement and tiles, and would like to know the risks of exposure to myself.

    i received an asbestos report that their solicitor sent, and apparently the asbestos is limited to the external roof tiles and cement etc, not in the main living and communal areas, (although they point out they cannot rule out its presence in inaccessible areas such as chutes, boarded off areas etc). the report details the use of crocodolite (blue asbestos) on the external roof in insulating board/soffits, and asbestos cement and tiles, they are apparently in ok condition with the insulating board only having low damage, scoring 7 out of 12 on danger to release fibres, and the cement/tiles in good condtion scoring 5 out of 12 , all materials are apparently sealed/encapsulated/painted.

    how much risk to exposure will i face, since flat is not the top floor, there is1 above me, and its my understanding abestos is released by small fibres that can become airborne, the only way i would be exposed is if they blew in from air or float down ? and i could always put up a filter or air purifier ? or are there other risks such as leaking roof and contaminated water ?

    as i am buying flat leasehold it would be up to the freeholder to to dispose or update the roof tiles, and as my understanding at this point in time they are content to just 'manage' them rather than replace at this point. anasbestos survey needs to be conducted yearly. the freeholder is currently in process of selling the other 4 flats, it would not be in freeholders interest to have a roof blowing dangerous fibres around ? at some point they would have to be replaced if they became damaged ? any information and or opinions appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  2. Surely you would have problems obtaining finance for a property with asbestos issues?

    Personally, I would leave this one as it has the makings of a very complex and potentially expensive fix (I know you say the freeholder is obligued to foot the bill but will they?). However, everything has a buying point :)
  3. James Wren

    James Wren New Member

    Ideally they’ll be removed or you’re probably going to worry, they’ll require major work at some point or be a concern at sale.

    If the freeholder isn’t obliged to remove, why not get a quote to remove and put it as part of the purchase offer?
  4. Longterminvestor

    Longterminvestor Administrator

    While I believe asbestos can be "managed" my understanding is that at some point in the future it will need to be removed. Can the costs quickly escalate with this type of thing?
  5. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    Another concern would be if in the future you want/need to sell how difficult would it be to find a buyer if the asbestos is still present?
    Personally I would never touch a property with asbestos. We recently bought in France and turned down several nice properties because there was asbestos present in the barn roofs.
  6. diyhelp

    diyhelp Active Member

    I totally agree @Veronica

    I have read about many similar situations where a "simple" issue with asbestos has ended up turning into a major problem. I always thought the banks were not keen to lend money on properties where there was an asbestos problem?
  7. I also agree with @Veronica as well,

    Surely there must be less complicated property investments out there? Are you an experienced property investor or is this your first investment?

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