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8 Federation of Private Residents’ Associations Newsletter

Issue No. 90 Autumn 2009

‘Ask the FPRA’ continued from page seven A

FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman replies: As the legislation currently stands I would suggest that your block will be required to carry out a Type 2 Survey for asbestos on the your premises to determine the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and enable you and your committee as the ‘Duty Holder’ to develop an Asbestos Management Plan in accordance with The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAW 2006) and The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The work should be carried out to the Industry Best Practise as set out in the Health and Safety Executive guidelines publication ‘Methods for the Determination of Hazardous Substances publication No. 100’ (MDHS 100). Scope of The Survey The Survey should cover all non-domestic areas within the premises.

If asbestos containing materials have been located, the Asbestos Management Plan should be based on Management ‘in–situ’ rather than removal. Therefore, this Asbestos Survey should conclude with the following key action points: • The presence of asbestos should be formally notifi ed to all staff and users. (This can be done by a simple label on the area concerned).

• Any assigned priority tasks should be carried out to ensure full compliance with The Health and Safety at Work Act and The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2006).

• The details of any recommendations in the Asbestos Management Plan should be incorporated into your own standard Operating Procedures. Should ACMs be found it should be straightforward to manage. Carrying out of an Asbestos Survey will ensure that you, the Duty Holder, will be compliant with all aspects of current Health and Safety Legislation and are operating within the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations relating to the management of asbestos in non-domestic premises, and that any future maintenance contractor will have the correct information to ensure safe work is effected. I hope this provides you with signifi cant advice of how best to proceed in your block.

The letters above are edited. The FPRA only advises member associations – we cannot and do not act for them. Opinions and statements offered orally and in writing are given free of charge and in good faith, and as such are offered without legal responsibility on the part of either the maker or of FPRA ltd.

Failure of CLARA

Don’t buy leasehold unless you have a share of the freehold – that was the advice given in a Parliamentary debate by Barry Gardiner MP.

“It is only with a share of freehold that people get control,” Mr Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North, said in a debate on leasehold matters.

People buy a property thinking they had fi nally become homeowners and that they had control over the property. “The tragedy of leasehold is that they do not,” he said. “Their landlord has control over the property.”

Mr Gardiner was speaking on June 26 in a debate on the Leaseholders’ Rights Bill, a Private Members’ Bill introduced by Mrs Jacqui Lait (Conservative MP for Beckenham), which received some support but will not become law because of lack of Parliamentary time.

The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 had been a “failure” he said. He himself had campaigned for fi ve years to get it on the Statute Book, but it turned out to be a “Blue Peter” Bill – one the civil servants had prepared earlier. Despite some good points, the Act was “substantially fl awed”. Commonhold and leasehold were supposed to have been made easier, but the outcome had been disappointing.

“I remember that in my speech on Second Reading of that Bill, I said that even if fi ve per cent of new properties were designated commonhold, I would consider it a tremendous success if that were achieved within 10 years. Sadly, I have been proven right. Nowhere near fi ve per cent of new build is commonhold. I gave a target of 10 per cent for enfranchisement, and that target, too, has not been met. That shows the fundamental inadequacies of the 2002 Act. I concluded my speech by saying that we would have to revisit the issue in seven or eight years, but what is seven or eight years when leaseholders have been waiting 130?”

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