Last updated: 1 May 2015
At a glance
- Asbestos is considered a problem if it is damaged and fibres are released and inhaled into the lungs. If the asbestos is in poor condition, or if building works are planned that would disturb it, then professional removal of asbestos is required.
- Valuers carrying out a valuation for a mortgage lender would assume that there were no hazardous materials such as asbestos present at the property. However if the inspection indicates to the valuer that asbestos is present the valuer would report this to the lender.
- Further information on asbestos can be found on the Health & Safety Executive website and RICS website.
- Our consumer page on hazardous materials
Our view is that it is for individual lenders to decide what steps to take if asbestos is present at a property.
Why asbestos matters to lenders
As a lender, you may want to know whether asbestos is present and if so whether it will affect the value of the property and/or whether it needs removal.
- Your requirements on your valuer’s report will determine what level of information you receive on asbestos.
- Under the RICS Red Book Appendix 10 valuers are entitled to assume that “no deleterious or hazardous materials have been used in the construction”. But “if the limited inspection indicates that there are such materials” then “this must be reported and further instructions requested”.
- You can therefore reasonably assume that the presence of asbestos will be reported to you if a valuer identifies it. However given the nature of a residential mortgage valuation inspection you should not assume that the presence of asbestos will be identified by your valuer unless you vary these standard instructions.