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Finding out if asbestos is present

This content applies to England & Wales

Action that can be taken to find out if asbestos is present where the occupier suspects it may be.

If an occupier, whether a tenant or an owner-occupier, thinks that asbestos may be present in her/his home, the first thing to do is to contact the environmental health department at the local authority for advice. Tenants should also contact their landlord.

The local authority should investigate and, if asbestos is detected, take action to ensure that the occupier is not put at risk.

Some local authorities have specialist teams to deal with asbestos in their properties, and produce information specifically for tenants and residents in the area. Advisers should check whether their local authority has such a team or information.

If the local authority fails to investigate, the occupier could obtain an expert's report to find out if asbestos is present. That evidence may be required for the purpose of possible proceedings for statutory nuisance (see the page on Obligations of the landlord for more information).

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