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Rehousing while work dealing with asbestos is taking place.

A tenant does not have the automatic legal right to be rehoused while repair work is being done. However, if the repair work takes the form of removal of asbestos, and there is therefore the attendant risk of the creation of asbestos dust, it would be difficult for a landlord to justify not rehousing tenants temporarily or permanently. However, if the repair work consists only of sealing the asbestos, this argument is not as persuasive because such work should not create asbestos dust.

If the asbestos is a statutory nuisance (see the page on the Obligations of the landlord for further information) and the occupier has to find temporary accommodation her/himself, s/he can take action against the landlord by making a complaint to the magistrates' court.[1] If the magistrates' court finds that the landlord has failed to abate the nuisance, it can order that the landlord pays compensation to the court for the cost of the temporary housing. If the tenant is a tenant of a registered social landlord or a private landlord - but not of the local authority - the environmental health department can take this action on behalf of the landlord.

For more information about rehousing during repair work, see the page on Rehousing.

[1] s.82 Environmental Protection Act 1990.

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