Buying land for a new development

Four Things Landlords Need to Know About Asbestos Management

If you own investment real estate that you rent out, you should understand the rules, regulations and industry expectations regarding asbestos. Wondering what you need to know? Here's what to consider:

1. Commercial landlords have strict requirements related to asbestos detection, disclosure and management.

If you are a commercial landlord, meaning you rent out spaces to businesses including offices, retail establishments, restaurants and similar entities, you have to be compliant with strict asbestos regulations. Namely, you may have an asbestos inspection, and you must post the results of the inspection on your property. Additionally, if there is asbestos, you must have a management plan. The plan may include asbestos removal, monitoring of asbestos and communication with your tenants among other things.

2. Residential landlords don't have to tell tenants about asbestos.

As a residential landlord, you are not required to disclose information about asbestos to your tenants, and in fact, you are not even required to know whether or not your property has asbestos. For example, if a potential tenant asks you whether or not the property has asbestos you are not required to know the answer. If you know, however, you should not hide the information.

3. Residential landlords may be required to make urgent repairs.

Although you are not required to find asbestos and warn tenants about it, you may still be held responsible for repairs. Namely, if a renter finds asbestos in your property and it's in a state of disrepair, the tenant can report the issue to the local government, and you may be required to make an urgent repair.

For example, if flooring with asbestos is peeling or asbestos insulation is falling out of the wall, your tenant could test it and report it. At that point, you are required to make the repair immediately. Because of that, you should always have money in reserve or available on a line of credit so that you can take care of the issue.

4. Asbestos in your property may affect your reviews.

As a landlord, you are running a business, and if your tenants are not happy with the type of property you are renting out or if they are dissatisfied with how you are taking care of the property, they may post poor reviews about you online.

As a result, new tenants may be reluctant to rent your property. To stay competitive as either a commercial or residential landlord, you should detect asbestos and implement an asbestos management or removal plan as needed. For more information, contact an asbestos removal professional.