Selling my home with asbestos in the garage

Q: I am selling my home and there is asbestos in the garage. I've been quoted £900 to remove it but I cannot afford this. If I decide not to do anything, how difficult will it be for me to sell?


Rob Hailstone of Bold Legal Group says:
As the seller is aware of the existence of the asbestos and the cost to remove it, it would be misleading not to disclose it, probably in the Property Information Form when completed. In addition, the buyers valuer/surveyor might pick up the existence of asbestos at a crucial stage during the sale process.  Far better to come clean and:

– Say the sale price reflects to cost of the work

– Get the agent to negotiate a sale price with the buyer based on the fact that the work will need doing

It may be that the buyer’s lender will not release the mortgage advance until the work has been carried out. In this case, a clause could be added to the contract that the work will be carried out during exchange and completion.


Whitehead Monckton Solicitors in Kent comments:

Asbestos, if not damaged, can remain in situ for many years. Once the outer layer of asbestos is breached, then it becomes dangerous and an expert would need to assess the damage to give appropriate information. However, it is possible to sell a property with asbestos in the garage.  When instructing an estate agent, if you advise them of the situation and the potential cost they can guide an interested buyer with regard to the situation and possibly have some estimates for its removal to hand. Most buyers will arrange for their own surveyor to visit the property. A surveyor acting for the buyer would recommend that the asbestos be removed by a professional company. As a seller, when marketing the property, or accepting an offer from an interested purchaser, you may wish to take into account the cost for the removal of the asbestos at that time. This way, as a goodwill gesture, you can make an allowance to the buyer for this sum from the sale proceeds upon the completion of the sale. You must therefore, accept an offer at that time to reflect this potential outlay.


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