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has the duty?
through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy
agreement or contract.
The extent of the duty will depend on the nature of
that agreement. In a building occupied by one leaseholder,
the agreement might be for either the owner or leaseholder
to take on the full duty for the whole building; or it might
be to share the duty. In a multi-occupied building, the
agreement might be that the owner takes on the full duty for
the whole building. Or it might be that the duty is shared -
for example, the owner takes responsibility for the common
parts while the leaseholders take responsibility for the
parts they occupy. Sometimes, there might be an agreement to
pass the responsibilities to a managing agent.
In some cases, there may be no tenancy agreement or
contract. Or, if there is, it may not specify who has
responsibility for the maintenance or repair of
non-domestic premises. In
these cases, or where the premises are unoccupied, the duty
is placed on whoever has control of the premises, or part of
the premises. Often this will be the owner.
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premises are affected?
The duty to manage covers all
non-domestic premises. Such premises include all industrial,
commercial or public buildings such as factories,
warehouses, offices, shops, hospitals and schools.
Non-domestic premises also include those 'common’
areas of certain domestic premises: purpose-built flats or
houses converted into flats. The common areas of such
domestic premises might include foyers, corridors, lifts and
lift-shafts, staircases, roof spaces, gardens, yards,
outhouses and garages - but would not include the flat
itself. Such common areas would not include rooms within a
private residence that are shared by more than one household
such as bathrooms, kitchens etc in shared houses and
communal dining rooms and lounges in sheltered
Further detail is set out in a
chart of premises and includes which are likely to be
classified as domestic or non-domestic for the purposes of
the duty to manage.
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How do dutyholders comply?
There are three essential steps:
find out whether the premises
contains asbestos, and, if so, where it is and
what condition it is in. If in doubt, materials
must be presumed to contain asbestos;
assess the risk; and
make a plan to manage that risk
and act on it
Further details of these steps can be
found on pages of this downloadable file
short guide to managing asbestos’.
Here are some basic principles to remember:
asbestos is only dangerous when
disturbed. If it is safely managed and
contained, it doesn’t present a health hazard;
don’t remove asbestos
unnecessarily - removing it can be more
dangerous than leaving it in place and managing
not all asbestos materials
present the same risk. The measures that need to
be taken for controlling the risks from
materials such as pipe insulation are different
from those needed in relation to asbestos
if you are unsure about whether
certain materials contain asbestos, you can
presume they do and treat them as such;
remember that the duty to manage
is all about putting in place the practical
steps necessary to protect maintenance workers
and others from the risk of exposure to asbestos
fibres. It is not about removing all asbestos.
If any ACMs need to be sealed,
encapsulated or removed, remember you will need to
licensed contractor such as
Contact us today if you have any
asbestos concerns with your commercial property. Our
team of qualified and experienced asbestos surveyors
can remove the liability from you by carrying out a