Keeping Our Tenants Safe
Advice for Tenants on Asbestos
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a strong, durable, non-inflammable fibre used for reinforcing many materials used in buildings. It is also a good insulator so it has been used extensively to protect building structures from fire and excessive heat.
- Asbestos is usually mixed with other materials which makes it difficult to identify
Where will asbestos be found?
Because of its many uses, materials containing asbestos can be found in all types of buildings, especially those built between 1950 and 1980.
- Asbestos was widely used in the construction and refurbishment of homes
What are the risks with asbestos?
Serious health risks can arise from breathing in air containing asbestos fibres.
- Hazards only arise when materials containing asbestos are disturbed
- Asbestos is safe if it remains mixed, bound or sealed with other materials
What is our policy on asbestos?
The Council's policy complies fully with safety legislation and best practice. The main parts of the policy are:
- To fully investigate all reports of possible asbestos
- To actively survey our housing stock (and all other council owned buildings)
- To help identify and monitor materials which contain asbestos
- To keep a register of all known asbestos and maintain regular checks on its condition
- Not to remove asbestos where it does not constitute a hazard
What should I do if I think I have found asbestos?
The repairs handbook gives full details of how you can report suspected asbestos to us. You can find this under the section called "Reporting a Repair".
- Report the matter to Housing without delay by telephoning 0845 055 7070
- Make sure that the material is not disturbed
Asbestos and Do It Yourself (DIY)
You are reminded that as per your tenancy agreement, you need to obtain permission from the Housing Department before making alterations or improvements to your home. Further details can be found in the tenancy handbook.
You should contact us before undertaking DIY work which would disturb the fabric of the building. Standard decorative work, such as scraping wallpaper or painting is perfectly safe. You must however call us in advance of carrying out any work if you plan to:
- Remove, sand, drill or scrape artex
- Drill (other than minor work, for example to put up a picture frame or a hook)
- Plan work which would disturb any material in the loft area
- Plan work in the heating cupboard, on or around pipes which are lagged.
If you are in any doubt then please call for advice and information between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday on 01259 225167.
What can you do to help?
To keep you and your family safe, the housing department may need access to your home to carry out maintenance checks from time to time. This could include tests, or occasional asbestos surveys.
Your cooperation in allowing access to your home would be very much appreciated.