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Asbestos in warm air heating, sellers responsibility?

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  • Asbestos in warm air heating, sellers responsibility?

    I'm hoping you may be able to help me. I'm just in the process of buying a new house and have just recieved the valuation back (still waiting for he homebuyers report) it states that they have valued the property at 0 as there is reason to believe that the warm air heating contains asbestos.and that I need to get this checked out from a licensed surveyor. The house was built in the 1970s which ties in to when asbestos was popular. I have spoken to a different estate agent who isn't biased towards the sellers and he has confirmed, off the record, that the whole housing estate had this hot air heating installed and he confirmed that asbestos is present. I have also spoken to a couple of home owners on the estate and they confirmed it too. I don't want to pay £100's for a survey to get confirmation of what I already know, plus I don't want the seller to turn round and say they won't sort the problem out. We don't have the money to get this fixed on top of everything else we're paying for. Im presuming The mortgage company will not give me a mortgage until they have confirmation that there is no asbestos present.(my mortgage advisor is on holiday at the moment typically!) I'd like to know where I stand. Do the home owners have a legal obligation to sort this out? To add even more complexity, The person whose house it was has died (he was 92 and had lived there form30 years , death wasn't asbestos related) and it has been left to the family who have put it on the market, any advice you can give would be really appreciated, just feel like I'm going round in circles. I'm annoyed with the estate agency as well as they must have known about it but have never mentioned anything to me.
    Many thanks

  • #2
    Re: Asbestos in warm air heating, sellers responsibility?

    First of all I think you need to know more about the warm air heating system and exactly what areas the asbestos is in. Where I am there is a lot of warm air and generally the asbestos in these is in the lining to the heating unit door. If someone is replacing the heating they get the contractor to remove the door and dispose of the asbestos according to the legal requirements. You need to know exactly what and where the asbestos is. When a property is valued the heating system,etc are taken into account and valuation is less than say something with a wet system. I have never yet had a property like this valued at zero.
    If the property needs renovation - you say money needs spent - then it would be totally reckless not to get a survey done. How are you going to know if there is damp present ? if it needs rewiring etc.
    As for the seller being legally responsible of course they're not. The houses were built and matched the regulations at the time. Warm air heating is perfectly normal. If you want the house offer what it is worth to you, if not then find something else.