What Landlords Need To Know About Asbestos When Renovating

July 30, 2019

Being a landlord means that you have certain responsibilities to your tenants. What do you do when you find asbestos on your rental property? Getting help from Asbestos testing specialists in Auckland means that you’ll be equipped to manage whatever comes next. Here’s a bit more about your legal obligations and what steps you will need to follow.

Why Does The Health and Safety at Work Act Affect Me?

All businesses in New Zealand need to adhere to the Health and Safety at Work Act, and that includes businesses that offer residential rentals. Your rental property generates an income. It’s a classic exchange of goods and services for cash; therefore, it’s a business. Under the regulations of this Act, a landlord is considered a Person in Charge of a Business or Undertaking and therefore, must follow the law.

If you want to renovate, New Zealand law states that you must perform asbestos inspections before construction begins, for the health and safety of the occupants and tradespeople that will enter the property.

When renovations aren’t being performed, your tenants are living there. Therefore, during those periods, your property is no longer business – it’s a home. When you have tenants occupying a property, the usual stipulations don’t apply. It’s only when you employ tradespeople to work on it when your property becomes regarded as a workplace. Therefore, your obligation to their health and safety comes into play.

What Am I Accountable For?

When doing renovations or asbestos removal on a rental property, the landlord is responsible for making sure that the health and safety regulations of anyone affected by the construction are adhered to. This includes your construction team and tenants. If anything should detrimentally affect their health you’ll be liable.

What Do I Need To Do?

If you’re a landlord, you need to familiarise yourself with the risks that come with renovating your rental properties. When you know the risks, you know how to protect yourself and others from illness. Here’s what you need to do before beginning renovations if you suspect there’s asbestos in your rental property: 

  1. Get asbestos removal specialists in Auckland to make inspections, take samples, and perform testing. They can tell you where it is and whether the asbestos is encapsulated or has been damaged.
  2. Prepare a plan to manage any asbestos that is still intact and poses less of a risk – otherwise known as non-friable.
  3. If disturbed asbestos is found, you need to have it safely removed from the property immediately. 

Your rental properties are an investment, which means that you need to ensure that they’ll continue generating an income. They provide you with a living and a home for your tenants. Therefore, ensure that you talk to asbestos testing experts in Auckland before planning any renovations on your properties, to keep your tenants and others safe.