Once upon a time, buying a house with obvious asbestos was an investing no-no. The cost to remediate the property was high, people were frightened by the asbestos, never feeling fully comfortable even if the asbestos had been removed. And as for receiving rents? Asbestos homes would always fetch a lower price.
Why is this so?
A decade ago asbestos removal techniques were not as advanced as they are now, the stringent removal rules, laws and policies where not as mature, not allowing the removal process to be a systemized simple task. And the fear of every landlord, was that the tenant would damage the asbestos inside the house and contaminate the property, thus taking the landlord to court, suing for millions for the potential of having inhaled asbestos.
The asbestos removal Sydney landscape has changed. The selling of asbestos properties has not. Is this going to change? Is this a small niche window that may close soon? Asbestos properties still sell for a lot less than non asbestos properties. Now you can purchase an older property with asbestos, at a cheaper price, renovate with todays modern techniques, and make substantially more profit than if you were to buy a property with the asbestos already removed.
What’s different now?
- It’s the law. In Australia you must be a registered and licensed business to perform any type of removal work. Streamlined and systemized processes make for a smarter priced project
- Asbestos testing Sydney, get it tested, if you don’t have to remove it, don’t.
- Speed; removal now is a much faster process; the property will only be off limits to other trades for a very short period of time.
- Asbestos HEPA Vacuums. These specialist asbestos vacuums make sure there is no fibre left behind
- Accredited hygienists that will perform an inspection and provide a written report to you certifying that this property is now re-habitable. This is invaluable to you as a landlord, should you need to show evidence of the property being asbestos free in the future.
What do I look for in a good contractor?
- Obviously, full licensing, A Class is higher than B Class licensing
- Asbestos equipment
- A full understanding of PPE requirements, and its correct disposal
- Assistance with telling you what you can have done in preparation for the asbestos team to start work. I.e.: what will they need moved, what non-asbestos boards can you have a cheaper non-licensed person move to enable quicker access by the asbestos team.
- If a soft demolition, what can be removed by unskilled and cheaper labour and what MUST be left for the more expensive hourly asbestos labour
- A contractor that will honestly recommend encapsulation if possible over a complete removal. Encapsulation is usually significantly cheaper.
Asbestos Waste has come back to haunt renovators many times before. Don’t be a fool and illegally dump asbestos waste, not only is it morally wrong and hazardous to peoples health, but it can and probably will be traced back to you. The Australian Government is deadly serious in locating and fining people who have illegally dumped asbestos waste. A Good Contractor will double wrap any asbestos waste and affected disposable materials in 200 micron thick black plastic and will label the parcels as asbestos waste. The contractor will already have a waste contract with an EPA approved asbestos waste facility, and will move the material at a cheaper price than you could obtain, passing this saving back on to you. By the way, the cost of asbestos waste Australia wide is outrageously expensive, it is NOT going to be the same price as standard demolition and construction waste.
Good Luck, go forth and prosper!
Asbestos Guide – https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/publications