Asbestos Surveys and Compliance Management


It is a fact that asbestos is a killer and each year many lives are lost to asbestosis where individuals have come into contact with this dangerous material.

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006

This legislation, which came into effect legally, puts the onus on the duty holder of any commercial property to produce a report and register any asbestos containing material. The objective of this report is to provide an indication to workmen of any known or presumed locations within a building where materials containing asbestos are located. This knowledge then enables the workmen to assess the risk and take the necessary precautions to avoid contamination.

Who Has Duty (the duty holder)

In many cases, the duty holder is the person or organistaion that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract.

The extent of the duty will depend on the nature of that agreement. In a building occupied by one leaseholder, the agreement might be for either the owner or leaseholder to take on the full duty for the whole building; or it might be to share the duty. In a multi-occupied building, the agreement might be that the owner takes on the full duty for the whole building. Or it might be that the duty is shared - for example, the owner takes responsibility for the common parts while the leaseholders take responsibility for the parts they occupy. Sometimes, there might be an agreement to pass the responsibilities to a managing agent.
In some cases, there may be no tenancy agreement or contract. Or, if there is, it may not specify who has responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises. In these cases, or where the premises are unoccupied, the duty is placed on whoever has control of the premises, or part of the premises. Often this will be the owner.

What premises are affected?

The duty to manage covers all non-domestic premises. Such premises include all industrial, commercial or public buildings such as factories, warehouses, offices, shops, hospitals and schools.
Non-domestic premises also include those 'common’ areas of certain domestic premises: purpose-built flats or houses converted into flats. The common areas of such domestic premises might include foyers, corridors, lifts and lift-shafts, staircases, roof spaces, gardens, yards, outhouses and garages - but would not include the flat itself. Such common areas would not include rooms within a private residence that are shared by more than one household such as bathrooms, kitchens etc in shared houses and communal dining rooms and lounges in sheltered accommodation.

Further detail is set out in a chart of premises and includes which are likely to be classified as domestic or non-domestic for the purposes of the duty to manage.


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