The disclosure of whether Asbestos is located within a property should become mandatory in New South Wales according to one of the state’s peak real estate bodies.
The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) has called the introduction of an Asbestos Act, which would result in a specific government agency tasked with developing a state-wide plan to manage and remove Asbestos. Property owners would be required to disclose to potential buyers or tenants whether a property contains any form of Asbestos.
REINSW chief executive officer Tim McKibbin said the move would allow buyers to make informed decisions about an issue that could seriously affect their lives. “Real Estate Institute calls for mandatory Asbestos disclosure,” McKibbin said. “In our opinion people who are making a decision that could have serious health repercussions in the future should have all the relevant information. If you want to sell a house that has a swimming pool you have to be able to show that it’s compliant and we think there should be a similar requirement for Asbestos,” he said.
According to NSW Fair Trading, property owners will be required to disclose in the future if a property contains loose-fill Asbestos, a type of crushed Asbestos used for insulation, but McKibbin believes the government should go further. “In instances where Asbestos has been used in building products it is effectively safe until it’s disturbed and the fibres get into the air, but people should be warned that they, or somebody else could be in danger if they decide to cut into a wall during maintenance or for renovation.
“I’ve known people who have been absolutely set on buying a property only to decide not to when a building report comes