If you know, then you need to act
A 2015 amendment to the legislation governing the sale and leasing of residential property has made any property that’s tested positive for, or even suspected to contain, loose-fill asbestos insulation (LFAI) a “material fact” that real estate agents must disclose to potential buyers and tenants [How Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Could Destroy Your Property’s Value].
This means that, any property that’s tested positive for LFAI, but hasn’t taken advantage of the state government’s voluntary buyback scheme, will remain the public register and real estate agents either leasing or selling the property will have to disclose this as a “material fact” to purchasers or tenants
This also includes homes, where the state government believes there is “significant evidence to suggest” LFAI is present in the home.
Newcastle home owners have until July, 31 2018
Residents in the greater Newcastle region have until July, 31 to register their home for a free LFAI test. Homes that test positive for loose-fill asbestos will be eligible for the government’s voluntary buyback scheme.
However, being voluntary, it means that homeowners may not take advantage of the program, in which houses are demolished and the land remediated — homeowners are not allowed to remove furnishing and personal belongings from the house once the presence of loose-fill asbestos is confirmed.
Properties that aren’t demolished will remain on the public LFAI register, and warning signs will remain on the premise’s main switchboard notifying residents, workers, and other people in the community about the presence of loose-fill asbestos.
If your home tests positive, you could be liable
Besides rendering your home worthless by not taking the state government up on the buyback offer, you could find yourself personally liable for taking no action despite being aware of the presence of loose-fill asbestos.
This is particularly the case for investment properties that are tenanted, as all residential leases must list properties included on the LFAI register; so must the tenancy checklist.
Once your property is confirmed or suspected to contain LFAI, the Department of Fair Trading will install a warning sign on the property.
Real estate agents must, as a material fact, disclose the inclusion of the property on the LFAI register.
Newcastle residents and property owners should visit the Department of Fair Trading’s website to learn more about or register for its free testing program before July, 31.