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Asbestos (England) | Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England)

Asbestos and Fire Safety Assessments, in Communal Areas of residential properties

31 Oct 2016 | 1 comment

These two things are now routinely being asked for whenever a flat conversion changes hands. I understand what they are for, and what they involve.

However, I would like to know if there is any legal requirement as to how often either or both are updated ? The Managing Agent for a building in which I own one of the four flats is trying to arrange for another Asbestos survey to be carried out even though there have been no changes since the last one in 2012.
They are also pushing for annual fire safety assessments in unchanged communal hallways.

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    There isn’t any definitive answer as to how regular a risk assessment should be done.

    In respect of asbestos, I agree this will not need to be done very often unless something changes. I think a routine visual inspection should form part of the continued updating of the risk assessment to check that nobody has disturbed any asbestos found in any earlier assessment.

    Fire is more of a living” assessment. There will be many routine inspections and events will occur that will need an update to the assessment (such as a detector false alarming so needing replacement or repositioning for example). However, these are more updates to the assessment rather than doing a new assessment from the outset. A new assessment is just needed if something changes that warranted a new assessment. For example a deaf tenant may move into the property and so that would require a new assessment that would possibly require some visual alarm signal in addition to the sounders. Also, a new assessment would be needed if guidance changed that could render the existing setup out of date. It is this latter reason that many suggest an annual assessment is necessary so that whatever the current guidance is can be assessed each year. However, if guidance or advice is unchanged then in our view it is not required that often (subject to no other changes within the building).

    The LACORS fire safety guidance provides lots of useful help on risk assessments and how often they should be done.

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