The NSW Government is required under the Home Building Act 1989 to maintain a register of residential properties that contain loose-fill asbestos insulation - the Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Register (LFAI Register).
The public release of a property’s address will enable emergency services, tradespeople, Councils and the broader community to know whether a particular property is affected.
This will assist members of the wider community to be informed about any risks associated with a specific property and to take any appropriate safety measures.
If a property does not appear on the public register and you have concerns that it may be affected by loose-fill asbestos, you are encouraged to discuss the matter with the homeowner.
The LFAI Register is available on the NSW Fair Trading website and each property can be searched for by its street address.
The address of a property will be added to the LFAI Register once the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation has been verified. For this to occur, the Home Building Regulation 2014 requires that a licensed asbestos assessor attends the premises and completes an investigation.
A National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory must then confirm that a sample of material, removed from the premises in the course of the investigation, contains loose-fill asbestos insulation.
NSW Fair Trading can also add a property’s address to the LFAI Register if there is substantial evidence that loose-fill asbestos insulation is present. When a property is added to the register, only its address will be provided.
When a local council issues a Planning Certificate under section 149(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act it will disclose whether a property is listed on the register.
As a section 149(2) certificate must be included in the Contract for Sale of Land and Premises, this will alert potential buyers that a property is affected by loose-fill asbestos.
Once the address of a property has been added to the LFAI Register, the property must display a warning tag. More information can be found on the Mandatory tagging page on the NSW Fair Trading website.
A property will be removed from the LFAI Register once the affected premises is demolished and land remediation is confirmed by way of clearance certificate. A clearance certificate will confirm that no loose-fill asbestos insulation has been detected from within the footprint of the affected premises.
For more information on the demolition process, visit the Demolition and remediation page on the NSW Fair Trading website.
Once a property has been removed from the LFAI Register, it is no longer required to be tagged. Local council will be notified that the site has been remediated and that the section 149(2) planning certificate should no longer indicate that the property is on the LFAI Register.
If a property has undergone sample testing and no loose-fill asbestos was identified, it will not be added to the LFAI Register.
Homeowners may choose to demolish their premises and remediate the site independent of the program. NSW Fair Trading strongly recommends that before a homeowner decides to undertake private demolition and remediation work, they consider the cost involved.
If a homeowner proceeds with private demolition, in order to have their property address removed from the LFAI Register, they will need to demonstrate that it has been demolished and the land on which it was erected has been remediated in a manner consistent with the demolition process under the program.
They will also need to provide a clearance certificate from a licensed asbestos assessor that verifies the land has been remediated. NSW Fair Trading may undertake its own inspection of the property to ensure it is free of loose-fill asbestos prior to removal from the register.
If NSW Fair Trading believes demolition work may have been undertaken that does not meet the relevant legislative requirements for the safe removal of asbestos, it will refer the matter to SafeWork NSW
If a homeowner withdraws from the program even though their property confirms the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation, their property will remain listed on the LFAI Register and the requirement to display a warning sign continues.
A property can only be removed from the Register if the premises is demolished, the land on which the premises had been on is remediated and a clearance certificate is issued by a licensed asbestos assessor.
Homeowners who are aware their property is affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation must ensure it is safe for residents, emergency service workers, tradespeople, service providers and maintenance workers.
It is a material fact if a property is listed on the LFAI Register i.e. this information must be disclosed by the property manager or private landlord to prospective tenants.
The standard tenancy agreement includes a new clause which notifies tenants if the premises they want to lease is on the Register.
While tenants cannot register the property they are renting for free sample testing, they should ask their landlord or managing agent if it has been tested for loose-fill asbestos insulation. Tenants can also check at any time if the property they are renting is on the LFAI Register.
If a tenant finds out that the property is affected and they are not concerned, they can choose to keep renting the property.
If tenants are not within the fixed term period of a tenancy agreement and they wish to vacate an affected property, they will need to give 21 days’ notice.
If tenants are still within the fixed term period of a tenancy agreement but intend to vacate as soon as possible, they should contact their managing agent or landlord and seek to negotiate the termination of the lease.
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