“I think there’s some disturbed asbestos in my Brisbane property. What should I tell/provide my landlord/agent with to get this looked at?” (Tenant, QLD)
We asked RE/MAX Profile Real Estate principal Christina Penrose for her advice:
“Report the issue to your property manager/landlord immediately in writing, ideally with photos so that the problem can be addressed,” Christina said.
“Naturally, you should take precautions not to touch the asbestos and to avoid the area/room as much as practical.”
“If any of your belongings have asbestos on them, you should not touch them either.”
Could your apartment be making you sick?
If your apartment building was built before 1980, it most likely contains asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral fibre. In Australia, the material was commonly used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings for its affordability and insulating properties between the mid-1940s and late 1980s. However, in December 2003, a total ban on the manufacture, use, reuse, import, transport, storage or sale of asbestos was enacted.
If asbestos is disturbed, the particles release into the air. Once inhaled, fibres can bury themselves in the linings of the lungs, heart or abdomen where mesothelioma cancer can later form. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70-90% of all cases.
Although asbestos is banned, many landlords and tenants may be unaware that the material is present in their older apartment buildings.
Asbestos may be found in cement sheets, ceilings, floors, tiles, beneath wood-heaters and more.