Asbestos Policy Update
Unity is committed to ensuring that the properties contained in its portfolio are well maintained and provide a decent home for tenants, both now and in the years ahead. We have a legal duty to ensure the health and safety of our tenants, leaseholders and other stakeholders in relation to the management of asbestos containing materials within our domestic stock and communal areas. We will discharge this duty by complying with the requirements of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and other associated legislation.
Asbestos is a hazardous substance that can cause ill-health to anyone who disturbs it. There are 3 main types:
- Crocidolite – which were used to create household products and building materials.
Fortunately, asbestos is no longer used or imported in the UK (it was banned in 1999) due to the health hazards it creates. However, it is still common in existing buildings, especially those built before the year 2000. Although the manufacture (and use) of asbestos products was banned in the UK, asbestos containing materials still widely exist in buildings and products installed before this date. The use of asbestos was particularly popular during the 1950’s to 1980’s. Asbestos was used so extensively because it possesses many idyllic properties. Amongst other things, asbestos is strong, incombustible, heat-resistant, cheap, sound absorbent and can control condensation. It could be used to make all sorts of products – from roof tiles to kitchen paper.
Consequently, asbestos may be found in almost any material. Some of the most common locations include:
- Textured wall and ceiling coatings, such as Artex
- Floor tiles
- Asbestos insulating board in walls, ceilings and doors
- Fire blankets and fire doors
- Roof felt
- Guttering and pipe work
- Bath panels
- Garage roofs
Unity undertakes asbestos surveys on all void properties that have not previously been surveyed. We also undertake asbestos surveys on all properties that have not previously been surveyed prior to any improvement work (new kitchens or bathrooms for example). Should any asbestos containing material be found during this survey, it is removed either prior to letting or during the improvement work. Unity is satisfied that due to the age, much of our stock (built after 1999), and as our older (Victorian & 1950’s to 1999) stock has been extensively refurbished, we have very little asbestos containing material in our properties.