How to sell a property with asbestos

Published by Property Saviour
The UK's No.1 Fast House Sale Company

April 4, 2019 - Read time: 3 minutes

Across the UK, there are a high number of properties that still contain asbestos, and if you’re trying to sell one, its presence is sure to deter potential buyers. This leaves you in a difficult and stressful situation, especially if you need a quick sale for a fair price.

So how do you sell a property that contains asbestos? Our experts at Property Saviour have listed everything you need to know.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos has received a lot of media coverage in recent years, but what actually is it, and how harmful can it be? Asbestos is a silicate mineral which has been mined for over four thousand years around the world. With a wide range of uses, it was often hailed as a ‘wonder material’ by the Roman Empire.

It was heavily used in UK property construction during the 20th century and it’s easy to see why. It was resistant to fire, did not conduct electricity, and was an excellent heat insulator. It was also mined locally and therefore extremely cost effective.

Artex Asbestos ceiling
Artex Asbestos ceiling

Where might it be in the home?

Asbestos is most commonly found in residential properties where it has been mixed with other materials to strengthen them: cement sheeting or corrugated roofing, for example, or decorative wall coatings such as Artex.

It can also turn up in gas pipes, water cisterns, pipe lagging, loose fill insulation, floor and ceiling tiles, airing cupboards, behind fuse boxes and around boilers.

It’s most commonly found in older properties, as asbestos was used in UK home building industry until 1999, when white asbestos was finally outlawed.

The use and import of blue and brown asbestos was banned in the UK in 1985. Houses built in the UK this century will not contain asbestos, but be wary if you are trying to sell any property that is pre-1999. Artex, for example, was still being made with white asbestos up until the mid-1980s. Asbestos floor and ceiling tiles proved particularly popular in the 1950s and 1960s, so if you have them in your home it could be worth getting them checked.

Our team at Property Saviour have worked with a number of sellers who are struggling to sell due to asbestos and can talk you through all possible routes available.

Caution Asbestos
Asbestos causes a condition known as asbestosis

Why is asbestos dangerous and is it illegal to sell a house with asbestos?

Asbestos comes in a variety of forms and whilst they all differ in their potential to harm those who come into contact with it, they are all linked to a condition known as asbestosis.

During its manufacturing process and implementation in many types of construction, the dust that was produced contained sharp asbestos particles that often found their way into the lungs of workers, cutting and scarring the delicate tissue inside and frequently causing tuberculosis and fibrosis.

In the modern era, large-scale mining in the UK started in the late 19th century, but despite the first asbestos-related death occurring in 1906, it took until 1985 for the first partial ban to be passed through parliament.

While it isn’t illegal to sell a house with asbestos, for homeowners in the process of selling a house containing the material, it can be a tough task to find a buyer. But what measures need to be undertaken in order to sell a house with asbestos?

Can You Remove Asbestos Yourself in The UK?

If you are thinking of removing asbestos, you may wish to re-consider. Not only it is difficult but it is also dangerous.

Yes, you can legally remove asbestos yourself if you live in the UK – but that doesn’t mean you should or that it’s a good idea.

Although there are no laws against it, firms removing asbestos as a paid service need to be licensed.

Homeowners who wish to remove asbestos from their home need to check the asbestos disposal requirements in your local area on the Gov website.

We do not recommend removing asbestos yourself due to the potentially fatal health risks. Why risk putting yourself and your family at risk?

What should you do as a seller?

Asbestos is costly and dangerous to remove, and as a seller, you typically have two choices: get it removed through a specialised firm, or disclose it before a sale goes ahead, so the new owner is aware of the problem and how to tackle it.  If you do this, it’s likely they will want to reduce their offer so that they can pay to have it removed safely. The cost for removing asbestos can run into tens of thousands therefore, being able to sell a property with asbestos can be really difficult.

It’s always likely they may just back out of the sale, too. But if you know about it and don’t disclose it, depending on where you live, you can be sued.

Here at Property Saviour, we buy any house – even those with asbestos. You can relax that you can sell a property with asbestos to us. We’ll give you the fair price and also pay all of your legal fees.

House with Asbestos
Asbestos is costly and dangerous to remove

How much does it cost to remove asbestos?

If you are considering removing the asbestos, be aware it’s time consuming, complicated and expensive.

Costs are high and vary considerably, but be prepared to pay at least £1,500 plus VAT to remove up to 20 sq m of a textured coating such as Artex. As asbestos can be found in walls and ceilings and must not be exposed to the elements, the cost of removing it could be in tens of thousands of pounds.

You should always use a licensed removal firm, who will first carry out a preliminary test and take samples.

Home insurance policies do not cover the removal of asbestos, leaving you with no other option than to fork out cash. The other option is to speak to Property Saviour, who will buy any property, and still offer you a good price. Fill in the enquiry form to get started.

How we can help?

After reading the information above, we hope you’ve decided not to remove asbestos yourself. We also don’t think it’s advisable to lose out on money by disclosing the problem to any potential buyers, who will instantly be put off.

Property Saviour will not only give you a fair, honest price for your property, we’ll also make sure it’s better than any other option.

We charge no fees and guarantee a sale within 10 days of contracts being agreed. We don’t buy on behalf of investors, so you can be assured your damaged property isn’t being sold on to someone else.

Avoid the hassle, risk and stress of dealing with asbestos – and consider giving us a call.

If you’re feeling unsure, we’ll promise to leave you feeling confident by the time you put the phone down.

We’ve been in the house buying industry for decades and know each and every struggle faced by sellers, helping so many like you who are burdened with asbestos.

Call us on now 0113 320 6700.

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