The ‘duty to manage’ asbestos is included in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. You are a ‘dutyholder’ if:

  •  you own the building;

  • you are responsible through a contract or tenancy agreement;

  • you have control of the building but no formal contract or agreement; or in a multi-occupancy building, you are the owner and have taken responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building.

What buildings are affected?

  • All non-domestic buildings, whatever the type of business.

  • The common areas of domestic buildings, eg halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces.

  • All other domestic properties are not affected by the duty to manage.

If you are not the dutyholder but have information about the building, you must co-operate with the dutyholder, eg leaseholders must allow managing agents

access for inspection.


Asbestos can be found in any house or building built before the year 2000 as it was widely used in a variety of building materials. 

If asbestos materials are in good condition, and in a place where they are unlikely to be disturbed, then they should not cause any harm.

It is only when the materials are damaged or disturbed, so that fibres are released, that asbestos can become a danger.

Domestic property surveys are requested for a number of reasons:

  • You are considering purchasing the property and suspect there may be asbestos containing materials (ACMs);

  • You are planning some DIY refurbishment work on the property and need to know if you will disturb any ACMs;

  • A tradesperson / contractor has requested a survey prior to refurbishment or demolition works on your property.

The general duties (in Section 3(1) of the HSW Act 1974) apply to protect householders from any risks from work activities being carried out in their homes. Where work being done involves asbestos-containing materials then the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 will also apply. In owner-occupied domestic properties, the owners are not legally responsible for risks to contractors from asbestos, as the owners themselves are not engaged in any work activity.  (Advice taken from HSE Website 13/08/2020)