According to an official from the UK law firm George Green LLP many business tenants in the West Midlands area are totally unaware of their responsibilities when it comes to asbestos in the building. Although they do not own the building the fact that they rent it means that they are responsible for having assessments carried out to check whether asbestos is or may be present, and then they need to follow any recommendations made.

An official from the law firm said: “Even though they do not own premises, because tenants have control they have to comply with the regulations which impose a duty to investigate, monitor and manage asbestos in buildings.” With regards to getting the survey done she added: “Even if the results were negative, the tenant is obliged to keep records of the conclusions of the assessment and any review. And, if there is any reason at all to suspect the assessment is no longer valid, it must be repeated.”

She went on to state: “We recently advised a client on the acquisition of a semi-derelict property against which a bank refused to lend money without an asbestos report. This slowed down the deal and cost our client the price of the report before it completed the deal, which it had not foreseen.” She also added: “Once tenants take occupation of a premises, they are obliged to comply with all statutory obligations in relation to its use and occupation of the premises, including the obligations under the asbestos regulations.”

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