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Loose-fill asbestos safety guide for agents released

24 April 2015
The Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce has released a guide for NSW real estate agents working with properties that contain loose-fill asbestos.

The guide, which has been developed in consultation with REINSW, NSW Fair Trading and other industry stakeholders outlines the steps real estate agents and property managers can take to ensure their safety when selling or managing properties that contain loose fill asbestos insulation.

Taskforce Chair Dave Owens said the guide has been developed for real estate agency principals, their agents, property managers, strata managers and auctioneers to enable them to work safely with loose-fill asbestos affected properties.

"The Loose Fill Asbestos Taskforce is working to develop a comprehensive plan to advise on the most appropriate solution to the loose-fill asbestos issue in NSW," Mr Owens said.

"The guide for the real estate industry is part of our efforts to ensure the health and safety of anyone working with loose-fill asbestos affected properties."

According to Mr Owens, the real estate industry has a number of obligations when selling or managing a loose-fill asbestos affected property.

"Real estate industry professionals have a duty of care to their clients and any workers engaged to carry out work on the property, they also have a commitment to act honestly, fairly and professionally at all times plus disclose whether a property contains loose fill asbestos to prospective buyers and tenants," he said.

Mr Owens added that agents should have processes in place to manage the risks from loose-fill asbestos.

"This includes informing principals that properties constructed before 1980 may contain loose-fill asbestos insulation, asking principals during their initial inspection to complete a questionnaire about the property’s age, renovations and owner’s knowledge of the presence of loose-fill asbestos.

"They should also request a copy of any inspection reports from licensed asbestos assessors.

"If the agent becomes aware that loose-fill asbestos is present or suspects it may be present, the agent should take steps to ensure the health and safety of their workers, clients and anyone else that may come onto the property.

"This should involve asking the owner to register for the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) independent investigation into loose fill asbestos in NSW's free ceiling insulation testing program and requesting a copy of the test results."

You can view the guide by clicking here >>>