Loose-fill asbestos insulation laws
Several laws were introduced to identify properties affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation (LFAI) and to protect residents, workers and communities.
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Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation register
- NSW premises where the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation (LFAI) has been confirmed, and
- NSW premises where the Government is satisfied there is substantial evidence LFAI is present at the premises.
To ensure the health and safety of emergency service workers, tradespeople, maintenance workers and service providers, the laws require mandatory hazard labelling (or 'tagging') of properties that appear on the register.
Read more about mandatory tagging.
Amendment to section 10.7(2) Certificates
Changes were made to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 to add a property being listed on the Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation register as a matter to be included on a section 10.7(2) planning certificate.
Where it is confirmed via the register that loose-fill asbestos insulation (LFAI) is present in a property, this will be included in the prescribed matters to be disclosed.
Section 10.7(5) Planning Certificates
Currently, a council may include information regarding LFAI in a home when issuing a certificate for that property. Alternatively, they may choose to include a generic statement on the possibility of LFAI in pre-1980s homes on all section 10.7(5) certificates that it issues.
The NSW Government provides councils with suggested wording on the possibility of LFAI in pre-1980s homes in identified local government areas (LGAs) for inclusion in section 10.7(5) planning certificates. It is included in the guidance on section 10.7 planning certificate notations regarding loose-fill asbestos insulation in residential properties Regulation Amendment: Loose-fill asbestos insulation notations on section 10.7 planning certificates.
The regulation amendment suggested wording includes that:
- Some residential homes located in the LGA have been identified as containing LFAI, for example in the roof space.
- NSW Fair Trading maintains a register of homes that are affected by LFAI.
- You should make your own enquiries as to the age of the buildings on the land to which this certificate relates.
Property transaction notifications
The NSW Government made an amendment to the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2022 to warn purchasers about loose-fill asbestos insulation. Under the amendment, Contracts of Sale must include a standard warning about LFAI. The warning strongly advises purchasers to:
- consider the possibility of the property containing LFAI
- search the LFAI register for the residential premises
- contact the relevant council regarding whether it holds any records showing that the residential premises contain LFAI.
The following amendments were made to ensure tenants are notified of premises that are listed on the register:
- the Tenant Information Statement (which replaced the new tenant checklist) to specifically include a property being listed on the LFAI register
- the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 to add a property being listed on the LFAI register as a material fact that must be disclosed to potential tenants
- the standard Residential Tenancy Agreement (Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019) requires disclosure during a tenancy if the property is listed on the register.
Under the residential tenancy laws, a landlord must advise their tenant in writing within 14 days of the property being listed on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register.
Real estate agents
For the purposes of section 52 of the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002, a property listed on the public register of residential premises that contain loose-fill asbestos insulation is a kind of material fact. This is to ensure disclosure of LFAI in affected properties. This means that an agent must disclose to a prospective purchaser if a property is listed on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register.