Responsibilities of landlords and tenants
Duty to manage asbestos in premises
Whoever is responsible for maintaining all or part of business premises must also manage any asbestos in the premises.
Depending on the terms of the lease, this could be the tenant, landlord or managing agent. In the event that maintenance responsibilities aren't clearly specified, the legal duty rests with the party which has the greatest degree of control over the premises.If you hold this legal duty, you must:
take reasonable steps to determine the location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos
presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
keep an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) or presumed ACMs in the premises
assess the risk of the likelihood of anyone being exposed to fibres from these materials
prepare a plan setting out how the risks from the materials are to be managed
take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
review and monitor the plan periodically
provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them
make sure that material is analysed for asbestos content in accordance with ISO17025, which sets standards for both quality management and technical requirements in laboratories
Remember that even if you aren't legally responsible for managing asbestos risks in your premises, you have a duty to co-operate with the party who is.
Tenants, for example, must allow the landlord or managing agent access to the premises to conduct inspections. If the tenant has the responsibility, a landlord must disclose relevant information to both current and new tenants.
Subjects covered in this guide
Health & Safety Executive Infoline
0845 345 0055