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Presence of asbestos when buying

Posted by 2004sparkles-193110 - Created: 14 years ago
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We have just received a compromis de vente which highlights the presence of asbestos "in the fibrocement of the conduit on the roof, in a state of good conservation"

I didn't think any asbestos was good?!

- I'm sure there is a rational way to deal with this but can't figure out what .. recommend by email if the forum doesn't allow you to post ideas.


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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by NuttR - 13 years ago

Very informative all this - I understand that having an asbestos roof isn't a problem, but I think I'd get paranoid after a few months and end up checking the roof endlessly for cracks and so on...  I know it's not logical but I just wouldn't buy anything with asbestos in it.

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Posted by hope-186232 - 13 years ago

When I sold my flat in Isola 2000 I had to produce a certificate that no asbestos was present, hence I had to pay a company ±FF500 to check this out and this certificate was needed in the sale documents. The Agency should know all about this and even help have it arranged. It was my Agency that informed me, as I had no idea at all!! get back to them.yvonne

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Posted by stgeorge-182529 - 13 years ago

TonyP is quite correct - the problems encountered in France and elsewhere are concerned primarily with the removal of asbestos lagging on central heating installations and roof insulation in buildings constructed before certain dates. Where it is incorporated in the guttering or some roof tiles as a fibrocement compound moulding application - if in good condition, there is absolutely no reason to be concerned. If removal is required, certain health and safety precautions have to be taken - your local building contractor will know what is required as there are certain formal procedures demanded for disposal, hence the mention by someone at the Estate Agency or their housing Inspector/Surveyor ?




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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 13 years ago

For second opinions, there is the web site of the Belgian government Asbestos was used extensively for roofing materials in Belgium.  The advice is to leave it in place if it is in good condition, but to take the proper precautions if it has to be replaced, including the right sort of dust mask.

This site from the Thurrock council in the UK offers similar advice in English.

The crux of the matter is that anyone selling a home containing asbestos, or having it repaired has a duty to pass the knowledge on so that workers can take precautions in the event of any repairs..

I dont represent either of these organisations, I am just passing on the advice. 

If anyone thinks the advice is wrong, they should attack the governments concerned, rather than myself.


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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 13 years ago

I was not trying to advise anyone on the correct procedures for removing asbestos. Nevertheless the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends a face mask 'CE' marked to EN 149 with FFP2 particulate filters when removing asbestos from roofs.

I am trying to point out that almost all buildings built prior to the 80's have asbestos in the roof, including my house.

Asbestos roofing materials are very long lasting, in the order of 100 years or more, and while it is just sitting there on the roof it is of no danger.

The general consensus at the moment is that once it is there it is better just left alone.

Still, if someone wants to get of it, thats OK.


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Posted by susiepodd - 13 years ago


Do you have a qualification in asbestos removal?  If so, you got it fraudulently, and if not, you should not comment on this issue.  Asbestos is an extremely dangerous material and a normal face mask is insufficient for handling.

It is for negotiation between buyer and seller to decide what negative value is placed on the presence of asbestos in a building.

The best way forward is for either party to obtain two or three quotations from professional organisations for the removal of the same.


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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 13 years ago

Most buildings built before the eighties have asbestos in the roofing materials.  While the materials are in good condition there is no problem.

Fortunately it is a very good material for roofing and lasts a long time.

If the materials have degraded to the point where they need replacing, then if there is asbestos, the builder has to be careful about handling it.  Wear a mask, not throw it to the ground and so on.

Expecting the seller to replace part or all of a roof in good condition seems unreasonable to me.  If you are upset by the presence of asbestos you should buy something built more recently.


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Posted by me_2003 - 13 years ago

hi, do not buy this property.  if asbestos is present then you will have a lot of trobule selling...

also carefully check the last 3 years minutes of the assemblée générale of the syndic if you are in a block of flats.

if you end up buying ask for the act de vente (sales act) one month before you sign.  take the time to read the act de vente before you sign.

i did not read the act de vente as i trusted my notarie and i am now involved in a law suit. 


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Posted by susiepodd - 14 years ago

I would ask the vendor to arrange for a specialist to survey the property and quote for the removal of the asbestos  The removal must be done before you move in, its a complex job.  Also, you should consider that as it has been found once, then there is the possibility it has been used elsewhere.  Sorry to be so negative.

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Posted by ivi - 14 years ago

Meant to say: the Notaires won't charge for an exploratory conversation.

What have you signed so far anyway?

Just an offer in a Real Estate Agent's?

Anyhow don't sign any compromis until it says what YOU want it to say.

Good luck.