Can I Sell My House in New Zealand If It Contains Asbestos?

When selling a house, the potential presence of asbestos may raise several questions. Asbestos is a material that was frequently used in commercial and residential construction until the mid-1990s.  When asbestos is disturbed, it can release harmful fibers that pose significant health risks, including lung disease and cancer.

If your house in New Zealand contains asbestos, can you still sell it? The short answer is yes, but there are some important considerations to remember. Let’s delve into the details.

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Disclosing Asbestos to Potential Buyers

In New Zealand, the law requires vendors to disclose known defects to potential buyers; this includes telling if the presence of asbestos is known. You must inform prospective buyers if asbestos has been identified in your home or commercial space. Non-disclosure could lead to potential legal complications.

Assessing the Condition of Asbestos

The condition of asbestos may impact the selling process. It is recommended to assess the space by a licensed asbestos professional for the best course of action. It may be recommended to remove the asbestos before selling professionally.

Asbestos Inspection and Report

Before putting your house on the market, it’s a good idea to have an asbestos inspection performed by a licensed asbestos professional.  This assessment will likely include a visual inspection of suspected areas and sampling to confirm the presence of asbestos. If asbestos is found, the inspector will provide a report detailing its location, condition, and type.  A licensed asbestos removalist can recommend asbestos management and removal works with this report.

An asbestos report can benefit potential buyers as it helps them understand the extent of the hazard and associated costs.

The Impact on House Value

The presence of asbestos can impact the value of your home. Some buyers might be discouraged from purchasing a property that contains asbestos due to the associated risks. Asbestos should always be considered when renovating or redeveloping a property.

Professional Asbestos Removal

If you decide to remove the asbestos before selling, remember that the asbestos removal process is highly regulated in New Zealand. Only licensed professionals can remove more than ten m² of non-friable or friable asbestos. The removal works must be done carefully and professionally to prevent the release of harmful fibers.  When maintaining, it is important to take necessary safety precautions to avoid health risks to yourself and others in the area.  

A licensed professional asbestos removalist is recommended to remove any amount of asbestos.  Competent asbestos removalists have adequate industry training and experience that ensures works are undertaken following the necessary safety standards.

Final Thoughts

Yes, you can sell a house in New Zealand that contains asbestos. However, transparency about the presence and condition of asbestos is key to maintaining trust throughout the property sale process. Consider seeking professional advice regarding inspecting the property and providing a detailed report to potential buyers. If asbestos removal is necessary, ensure a licensed professional carry this out.  Asbestos professionals hold the relevant qualifications required to protect the health and safety of everyone involved. With the right approach and understanding, selling a house with asbestos can be managed effectively and professionally.

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