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Do Surveyors Check for Asbestos?

Asbestos was a very popular building material for the construction of residential properties in the United Kingdom from around the 1930s through to the mid-1980s and was only fully banned in 1999.

It was used as a building material because of its ready availability, strength and durability as well as its excellent insulation and fire-resistant properties. Asbestos is often mixed in with other products and is difficult to identify with the naked eye.

There are some key areas where asbestos would most likely be found, namely roof tiles, ceiling tiles, insulating boards, pipe lagging, boiler flues and so forth. Surveyors will keep a general eye out for asbestos in these areas and will advise accordingly but the only way to be absolutely certain of whether a property contains asbestos is to have laboratory testing carried out. It is simply not possible to tell without carrying out such testing. One can suspect, but not be sure.

Ultimately, houses built after the year 2000 should be free of asbestos. The issue therefore relates to houses mainly constructed pre-1985 and ultimately, again, the surveyor can signpost the need for further investigation depending on the outcome of his initial building survey inspection.

An asbestos survey would likely cost between £400 and £800 for a typical property.

Richard E M Winder MRICS
Chartered Surveyor & RICS Registered Valuer
Associate Member of The Academy of Experts

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What is the RICS?

RICS - London

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is the organisation responsible for the training and regulation of Chartered Surveyors. To be listed on Local Building Surveyors, surveyors must be either a RICS Member (AssocRICS, MRICS/FRICS) or a Firm Regulated by the RICS, so you can be assured that your survey will be carried out by a qualified regulated professional.

Find out more about the RICS

What type of survey do I need?

Find out more about the different RICS Surveys

There are three standard RICS Survey Levels. Check out the links below to find out more:

RICS Level 1 Condition Report

RICS Level 2 HomeBuyer Report

RICS Level 3 Building Survey


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