Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation register
The Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation register (the register) is a record of homes in NSW that have tested positive and confirmed by NSW Fair Trading to contain loose-fill asbestos. The Home Building Act 1989 requires the NSW Government to maintain the register.
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The public release of a property’s address will enable emergency services, tradespeople, councils and the broader community to know whether a particular property is affected.
This will assist members of the wider community to be informed about any risks associated with a specific property and to take any appropriate safety measures.
If a property does not appear on the public register and you have concerns that it may be affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation (LFAI), you are encouraged to discuss the matter with the homeowner.
You can search the register for addresses in NSW to see if they have tested positive for loose-fill asbestos insulation. Start typing the address, select one of the suggested addresses and the results will show you if the property is a match on the register.
How a property is added to the register
The address of a property will be added to the register once the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation has been verified. For this to occur, the Home Building Regulation 2014 requires that a licensed asbestos assessor attends the premises and completes an investigation.
A National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory must then confirm that a sample of material, removed from the premises in the course of the investigation, contains loose-fill asbestos insulation.
NSW Fair Trading can also add a property’s address to the register if there is substantial evidence that loose-fill asbestos insulation is present. When a property is added to the register, only its address will be provided.
When a local council issues a planning certificate under section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act it will disclose whether a property is listed on the register.
A section 10.7 certificate must be included in the contract for sale of land and premises, this will alert potential buyers that a property is affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation.
Once the address of a property has been added to the register, the property must display a warning sign. You can read more about mandatory tagging.
An address is not found on the register
The address of a property is added to the loose-fill asbestos insulation register once the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation has been verified by NSW Fair Trading. Properties with any other form of asbestos are not listed on the register.
If a property does not appear on the register, this does not mean it is free from loose-fill asbestos insulation. The register will only identify those properties that previously registered for testing with NSW Fair Trading and tested positive. Information about properties tested, where loose-fill asbestos insulation has not been detected is not publicly available.
If you are concerned about LFAI or any other types of asbestos in this property, you may wish to engage a Licensed Asbestos Assessor (LAA), to conduct an inspection at the property.
Removing a property from the register
A property will be removed from the register once the affected premises is demolished and the land remediation is confirmed by a clearance certificate. A clearance certificate will confirm that no loose-fill asbestos insulation has been detected from within the footprint of the affected premises.
Once a property has been removed from the register, it is no longer required to be tagged. Local council will be notified that the site has been remediated and that the section 10.7 planning certificate should no longer indicate that the property is on the register.
Information for landlords or managing agents
It is a material fact if a property is listed on the register which means this information must be disclosed by the property manager or private landlord to prospective tenants.
The standard tenancy agreement includes a new clause which notifies tenants if the premises they want to lease is on the register.
Information for tenants
If you are concerned, as a tenant you can:
- ask your landlord or managing agent if the property you are renting has been tested for loose-fill asbestos insulation, or
- check if the property you are renting is on the register.
If you find out that the property is affected and you are not concerned, you can choose to keep renting the property.
If you’re outside the fixed term period of a tenancy agreement and you want to leave an affected property, you need to give 21 days’ notice. If you’re within the fixed term period of a tenancy agreement but intend to vacate as soon as possible, you should contact your managing agent or landlord and negotiate the termination of the lease.
Tenants who want to terminate their lease following the detection of LFAI, but are having difficulties with their managing agent or landlord, can make a complaint to NSW Fair Trading.
Tenants can also request a copy of the air and dust reports which provides readings on the level of asbestos in each area. If the landlord won't provide the report, tenants can make a complaint to NSW Fair Trading.
Tenants should ask their local GP for advice on health risks.
Read more about the laws regarding loose-fill asbestos insulation,
Appealing a listing on the register
Residential premises that have been verified by a licensed asbestos assessor and a NATA-accredited laboratory to contained loose-fill asbestos insulation (LFAI) are to be listed on the public loose-fill asbestos insulation register, as required under section 119B of the Home Building Regulation 2014 (the Act).
Residential premises may also be listed on the register if the Secretary is satisfied that there is substantial evidence that LFAI is present at the premises under clause 68B of the Home Building Regulation 2014.
Once a property is added to the register, it may only be removed or edited if the Secretary of the Department (or delegated officer) is satisfied that the premises:
- has been demolished and the land remediated
- particulars are false, erroneous or misleading
- was erroneously included in the register.
Owners who wish to appeal a listing of their property on the register can contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 to obtain an application form.
The Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading will conduct an internal review of a decision made under the program about the listing of a property on the register.
Written notice of each decision will be provided to the person seeking the review. Reviews will be conducted within 28 days of a request being received.
An owner or resident that is dissatisfied with the results of a review conducted by the Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading can apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for judicial review. An application for judicial review must be filed within 28 days of receiving a decision from the Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading. Contact the Supreme Court Registry for more information.