This article is about the implications of not having an asbestos report carried out in a Victorian strata scheme.
Question: There has never been an asbestos report done on our 35 year old strata property. What are the consequences of not having an asbestos report done?
We bought a villa in a 6 unit complex about 4 years ago. We don’t have a professional Owners Corporation Manager and haven’t had an annual general meeting for the past two years.
To my knowledge, there has never been an asbestos report done on the 35-year-old property. What are the consequences of not having the report done?
Answer: I recommend that you inform any person undertaking work to ensure that they obtain an Asbestos Survey and if deemed to be present then have tested by a NATA accredited laboratory.
Based in the information available it sounds like the villas were built around 1987. ACM (Asbestos Containing Materials) were still being used in the construction of buildings as well as in the fixtures and fittings until banned from 2003.
If ACM was used on your scheme the areas where it could have been used would include – fences, the soffits/eaves, roof sheeting & concrete tiles, the walls, the lagging around hot water pipes, hot water systems, floor tile glue, carpet underlay and vermiculite (popcorn) ceilings, and loose-fill asbestos was also used as insulation in roof spaces.
If ACM is present then yes, there is a health risk to a resident, to contractors and DIY home handypersons. Assuming that no one lives above or below (Class 1A) like in a block of units, then there is likely to be little to no building materials located on the common property. If you are getting any work undertaken on the exterior then let the contractor know that they have a duty of care to themselves and others and should investigate the likeness of the presence of ACM where they’re working. Smart contractors won’t commence work until they have received the all-clear from a suitably qualified inspector.
In regard to the interior of the Villas, until such time as any ACM has been identified and tested, I recommend that you inform any person undertaking work to ensure that they obtain an Asbestos Survey and if deemed to be present then have tested by a NATA accredited laboratory. Hundreds of Australians die from Mesothelioma from exposure to Asbestos each year so it is wise to treat any work that could disturb ACM until such time as it has been removed if present.
This post appears in Strata News #539.
Have a question about the implications of not having an asbestos report in strata complexes or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
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