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Thread: asbestos

  1. #1

    Default asbestos

    I have just purchased my first house in kapiti. We had to have a valuation and builders report done to satisfy the lenders. No where in the builders report does it mention asbestos, infact it even mentions Hardiflex and goes on to say there is NO asbestos on the cladding. We would not have been given the loan if it were lined with asbestos either. Now I see on the building file (given to us AFTER purchase) that on the building proposal lodged with the council the cladding of the house is asbestos, as is the cladding on the extension. The council has the house as listed as being clad with Fibre Cement. I am wondering what my rights here are, it would seem like we paid for a house that is now quite possibly worth considerably less than we thought, also making any alterations way more expensive. If we were to sell today I would have to inform any new buyer. It also would make my insurances more expensive (in light of CHCH earthquakes). Is there anyone in this forum land who could advise me or point me in the right direction? I am planning on getting a sample of the cladding tested to confirm.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013


    Hindsight is a beautiful thing but why did you only look at the building file after purchase? I would do this before paying for a building inspection.

    I would say the builder that did the report and Council will dodge any liability. On the upside, asbestos is quite common and whilst it does add to your costs it's not the end of the world such as a leaky home.
    “Our favorite holding period is forever.”

  3. #3


    I guess we looked at building file after purchase because the builders report came back all good. I was wondering if I had a legal foot to stand on?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013


    I'm not a lawyer but I would say no you don't. You could throw tens of thousands of dollars at it but to what end? What would you expect the Council / Builder to do? I would say accept it for what it is - a learning curve for you - sorry to say but you didn't do your due diligence well. Don't get down about this. We all make mistakes as we go. Look at all the people that own leaky homes!

    I think you will find that although more costly, the costs involved with renos / alterations where there is asbestos aren't too excessive. Always pay the pros and never take any risks yourself with asbestos. I often joke about my own exposure to asbestos but it really is no laughing matter! It's pretty simple to deal with and dispose of if you know what you're doing.

    I would be mildly concerned about the situation with the bank! You might want to discuss this with the lawyer that did the conveyancing. If the builders report said no asbestos you are probably all covered and the bank won't go at you.

    Best case scenario - when you get it tested it is normal hardiplank and all this worry for naught. Fingers crossed.
    “Our favorite holding period is forever.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004


    Council will dodge liability because they have none - it's on their file if you wanted to look earlier.
    Talk to the person who wrote the builders report - the council file could be wrong you know and the report writer may well be able to justify their stand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    When was the house and any extension built? Hardiplank had asbestos in it up until 1985(?) when it was banned in manufacture. We just bought a house of that age - the only way to know for sure there is asbestos is to get it tested - and that said you may have some boards that do and some that don't depending on whether the stock was older or newer.

    The real question is - why do you think it matters? It's not like your house is rotting or serious damaged? It's not even as much as of an issue as lead paint. We had an asbestos roof on a previous house. It had come to the end of it's life and when it was removed it just meant the builder took care not to break the sheets - wrapped them disposed of them in an approved dump.

    There is no risk from asbestos until you inhale it. You are unlikely to inhale it unless the fibres are exposed ie the material is cut, broken or sanded. And even then you would need to be exposed to the particals a lot for a long period of time. ie you'd have to work with the material for years.

    The Council records are correct I believe that Haridplank is a tradename and firbro cement is the generic term. They still make haridplank and fibro cement - just not with asbestos in it. Never even had a discussion with my bank or insurer regarding asbestos - non-issue.

    On the plus side - asbestos is a fantastic building product - we have a 1985 built almost in the splash zone when the wind is up and the tide is high - and absolutely no damaged boards.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    It's a solid product - just don't sand it. Same q as above - when was the extension built? I'm willing to bet there is no asbestos in there.

  8. #8


    I bet the inspection was "visual" only, so you cannot really hold them liable.


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