Your home may be the biggest investment you'll ever make. But if it was built before the 1980s, it could be affected by hazardous loose-fill asbestos insulation. Loose-fill asbestos is raw crushed asbestos, which in the 1960s and 70s, was installed as insulation.
Over time hazardous airborne fibres can move from the ceiling into your living space.
If your home contains loose-fill asbestos insulation, its value in the market will be affected.
The NSW Government is proposing new laws to protect the community from unknowingly purchasing a property that contains loose-fill asbestos. Under these laws, when selling your property, you must confirm in the contract of sale if your property:
If you do not comply with these laws you risk significant financial loss and potential legal action. The Government's assistance program is your chance to protect yourself from the financial consequences of loose-fill asbestos.
NSW Fair Trading will provide financial assistance and support to affected homeowners and tenants, but you must register by 1 August 2016.
The NSW Government is providing free sample testing to owners of pre-1980s residential premises in 28 identified NSW local government areas.
If you do nothing and your home does contain loose-fill asbestos, you risk being unable to sell or rent your home in the future.
Earlier experience in both NSW and the ACT has demonstrated that simply removing loose-fill asbestos from a ceiling cavity does not remove the enduring hazard.
The NSW Government has determined that demolition, comprehensive site remediation and disposal are the best ways to ensure the health and safety of the NSW community.
If your property is affected by loose-fill asbestos, assistance is available through the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program.
The Program provides owners of properties that test positive for loose-fill asbestos the option to either sell their land and premises or premises only to the Government at market value, as if the property was not affected by loose-fill asbestos.
Here's what to do:
Register by 1 August 2016 and if you live in a free testing area, your home will be tested by a licensed asbestos assessor for free. Even if you are not in an eligible area, if you pay for your own sample testing and the result is positive, you will be refunded the cost of the testing and as a homeowner, become eligible for assistance.
As part of the Government's assistance package, you can have your property valued by two independent valuers as if it was not affected by loose-fill asbestos.
After the valuation process, you'll have a choice to make. Either sell your home and land to the Government for market value or sell your home only, they'll demolish it safely and restore the land so that you can rebuild.
Whatever you decide, make sure you don't miss this opportunity. Otherwise the cost of getting the problem fixed will be yours.
NSW Fair Trading is holding public events and information sessions in identified local government areas.
Have a look on our events page to find out what's happening in your area.
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