A union in the UK has recently called on social landlords such as housing associations to be more proactive when it comes to asbestos. The construction union, UCATT, has released a report called ‘As Safe as Houses’ and is calling for a change to the law that would make housing associations and councils monitor and deal with asbestos inside properties rather than just in communal areas.

The union wants social landlords to keep an asbestos register relating to asbestos inside properties, and also to inform potential tenants of the fact that there is or may be asbestos in the home that they are considering moving into.

The union wants social landlords to conduct a mandatory survey to check properties for asbestos, and wants surveying staff and maintenance workers to be fully trained in identifying and dealing with asbestos in compliance with the law.

An official from the Chartered Institute of Housing in the UK said that the task could be a very big one for many social landlords, and that it could panic people unnecessarily. She stated: ‘People must be aware that not all of it is dangerous. It could send people into a terrible panic.’

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