Contributed Article

Why do you need an asbestos report?

21 February 2018

Do you need an asbestos report for your rental property? The short answer is yes. Do you need to remove asbestos if unidentified which could be very costly? The short answer is no. 

It must be managed in accordance with the control measures contained in the asbestos report.

This is according to REINSW’s Commercial Partner, BIV Reports Pty Limited, who explain that owners and property managers who look after investment properties need to ensure they comply with keeping the property safe from risk.

This is relevant for investment properties across the spectrum, including strata, residential, industrial, retail and commercial offices.

Common Law Duty of Care 

Asbestos is a harmful material and the property manager and property owner both have a Duty of Care to ensure it doesn’t cause harm to visitors, tenants, workers, contractors and the like.

Currently the Court in NSW look at the principles contained within the Civil Liability Act 2002 (section 5B).

This includes:

  • whether the risk was foreseeable
  • whether a reasonable person would have taken precautions against that risk after considering the probability and the likely seriousness of harm
  • whether it’s reasonably practicable, and the financial burden of the precautions, amongst other considerations.  


The Work Health and Safety (WH&S) Legislative requirements

The WH&S Act 2011 and the WH&S Regulation 2011 places significant duties, obligations and responsibilities on any person in the management or control of a workplace. This includes a residence when a worker is on site to ensure it is free from risks. 

These duties, obligations and responsibilities relate to any Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking such as a property manager. 

The wording under section 20(2) says “the person with management or control of a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, the means of entering and exiting the workplace and anything arising from the workplace are without risks to the health and safety of any person.” 

The maximum fine is $3 million for a corporation and $1.2 million for an individual. Owners of property that is managed by a property manager still has a Duty of Care to the tenant, workers and contractors, as well as to ‘other persons’.

In addition to your Common Law Duty of Care, you have a specific Duty of Care under section 19 (Primary Duty of Care) of the WH&S Act 2011.

Non-compliance can be an expensive exercise in fines and legal costs and it is essential and prudent to obtain an Asbestos Register and Asbestos Management Plan for any investment property. 

BIV Reports Principal Shane Foley said: “We adopt a very practical and cost-effective approach to Asbestos and WH&S compliance requirements.

“We provide an Asbestos Report that contains both an Asbestos Register and an Asbestos Management Plan. If requested we can obtain samples for testing at an additional fee. 

“We simply carry out a Level 1 visual inspection of easily accessible areas in order to provide a compliant Asbestos Register and Asbestos Management Plan.”

BIV Reports can inspect, identify and provide either a Loose-Fill Asbestos Report, or an Asbestos Register and Asbestos Management Plan from $330 including GST. 

For more information contact Shane Foley or Wal Dobrow at any time on 9114 9800 or 0412 039 189.