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Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA)
102 Blackstock Road
London N4 2DR

0300 131 7300

0300 131 7300

My Home


Asbestos in the home

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of small fibres. From the 1950s to mid 1980s, it was widely used in the construction of homes. Although asbestos is no longer used in building materials, it may be present in many kinds of older building materials found in your home, including:

  • roof tiles
  • floor tiles
  • wall panels
  • insulation panels in storage heaters
  • packing between floors and partition walls
  • bath panels
  • airing cupboard walls
  • central heating flues
  • garage and shed roofs
  • gutters and drainage pipes
  • pipe lagging
  • textured paint and plastering
  • cement fireplace surrounds
  • fuse boxes.

There's more information on where you can find asbestos in the home on the HSE website. Use the ‘residential property’ option for a visual aid.

Housing associations

Housing associations have a duty of care towards their tenants and others when there is asbestos in properties.

  • The CAR2012 Asbestos regulations, whilst not applicable to residential properties, place a specific duty to manage asbestos in common areas.
  • The Defective Premises Act 1972, whilst not specifically mentioning asbestos, requires landlords to take reasonable care to see that tenants and visitors are safe from personal injury or disease caused by a defect in the state of the premises.
  • The Health & Safety at Work Act also places a duty on housing associations to make sure staff are not exposed to asbestos during their work and have access to suitable training and information on the presence of any asbestos they may encounter.

When asbestos is in good condition and not damaged it is not a danger. Once disturbed and its dust gets into the air is there a possible health risk. Do not tamper with or touch any asbestos material.

How you can stay safe

Major works

You should ask us for approval if you are planning major work in your home. If you think asbestos is present we can offer advice. However, if alterations are of your undertaking, then any costs of removing asbestos if it is found will be yours.

DIY works

You should be cautious when carrying out any DIY work. The use of power tools could increase the number of fibres released into your home. You should email before starting any work, so that we can provide you with asbestos information.


Some textured ceiling coatings, Artex for example, are known to contain a small quantity of asbestos. Do not attempt to remove them, especially with power tools. Email so we provide advice.

You cannot tell a material contains asbestos with the naked eye which is why samples of materials are examined under a microscope at a laboratory. If you are ever unsure whether a material contains asbestos, email and we can advise you.

I think I've found asbestos what do I do?

  1. Do not attempt to clean it up or repair it yourself.
  2. Do not brush or vacuum as this will spread the fibres into the air.
  3. Email for advice.

How does ISHA manage asbestos in my home?

We have a duty to manage asbestos in the communal areas of our buildings. We also carry out surveys in individual dwellings when a property becomes empty or before our contractors do some types of works in your property.

We have several options if we find asbestos and will pick the best one for your safety and to ensure any works in your property can be completed:

  • Leave in place. This is often the best and safest option.
  • Removal.
  • Encapsulation. This is where a special coating is applied to the material.

More information

You can find more information about asbestos on the HSE website.

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