Asbestos is the name given to a group of silicate minerals commonly found in rocks worldwide (though not in the UK).
The three most common forms of asbestos are:
- crocidolite ('blue asbestos')
- amosite ('brown asbestos')
- chrysotile ('white asbestos')
Asbestos fibres are flexible and mechanically strong, have high tensile strength and are chemical, electrical and heat resistant. Asbestos was commonly used raw (eg textiles and insulation) or combined with other materials (eg boards, asbestos cement).
Asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999. However, a lot of our housing was built or refurbished before this time and some properties contain asbestos materials. Products containing asbestos can look the same as those that do not, so you should always be careful.
Our asbestos policy
It is our policy, in line with Legislation and the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Guidance, to leave asbestos-containing materials that are in good condition in place.
However, if an asbestos-containing material is in poor condition, is likely to be disturbed resulting in damage, or if a repair, improvement or alteration takes place on or near it, we will remove it.
The important thing to remember is that as long as asbestos-containing materials are in good condition they do not pose a risk.
Outside your home
- roof tiles
- soffit boards
- guttering and drainpipes
- corrugated garage and shed roofs
Inside your home
- textured wall and ceiling coatings (such as "Artex")
- service duct panels (containing pipework)
- infill panels above doors or beneath windows
- infill panels to the back of front doors and linings to internal doors
- panels behind radiators/heaters
- floor tiles and tile adhesive, linoleum with asbestos paper backing
- panels underneath staircases
- ceiling panels
- toilet cisterns
- integral garage ceiling panels
- boiler flue pipes
- electric storage radiators
- bath panels
- fireplace panels
- water tanks
Asbestos: what are the risks?
Asbestos-containing materials are not a risk if they are in good condition. If they do become damaged or their condition deteriorates, then you and others may be at risk. Damaged asbestos containing materials can release fibres which, when inhaled, can cause serious diseases.
What we are doing about asbestos
We have a duty to manage materials containing asbestos in our properties. We do this by:
- Developing an Asbestos Management Plan setting out how we will manage asbestos in our properties.
- Carrying out surveys of individual properties, locations and communal areas.
- Recording all asbestos information on our asbestos register.
- Providing information about the presence of asbestos-containing materials to anyone who could potentially come into contact with them.
- Employing accredited asbestos survey consultants and licensed asbestos removal contractors for all work involving asbestos-containing materials.
Advice for tenants - do's and don'ts
Contact us straightaway if:
- You have any concerns about asbestos containing materials in your property.
- Any materials you think may contain asbestos or have been told contain asbestos have become damaged or disturbed.
Make sure that:
- Any material you have been told contains asbestos stays in good condition.
- Before you carry out any DIY work you should get our advice. You may also need permission under the conditions of your tenancy. Remember, materials that contain asbestos which are in good condition are not a risk to your health.
Make sure you don’t:
- Work on, damage or remove materials containing asbestos, including drilling, cutting, scraping or sanding.
- Jet-wash or clean down asbestos cement roofing materials such as corrugated garage or shed roofs.
- Remove old floor tiles or linoleum which could contain asbestos.
Removing domestic appliances that may contain asbestos
Items such as cookers, ironing board pads, fire blankets and oven gloves may contain asbestos. If you are planning to dispose of any of these items and think they may contain asbestos, please contact your local authority first for advice. These items are not Peabody’s responsibility to remove.
Under the terms of your lease, leaseholders (homeowners) or freeholders are responsible for all fixtures and fittings within the property, which includes textured coatings such as 'Artex' and floor tiles.
We are responsible for the structure of the building and communal areas. It is best to leave any items you think contain asbestos in place if they are in good condition. For example, if you wish to lay carpet on top of floor tiles, use tape to hold the carpet down instead of carpet gripper rod, as this will damage the floor tiles beneath.
If you would like to remove materials that contain asbestos, we recommend that you contact an asbestos-removal contractor licensed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out the work.
If you do remove asbestos as described, please tell us so we can keep a record and pass on any relevant information to new residents, contractors and third parties.
Find out more
For further information, help or advice relating to asbestos please contact us.