A nice landlord decided to install a carport to assist with covered parking for their tenants. Everyone was happy with this inclusion until certain little elements were found.

The tenant’s children were playing in the backyard and were fossicking in the garden. What they found was a whole pile of shards of material. They took the material in to show Mummy who showed it to Daddy and it was discovered that it was probably some form of fibro asbestos.

They advised the property manager immediately who sent an occupational hygienist out to inspect the property. It was found that when attaching the car port to the house, the builder had drilled through asbestos and had dropped the remnants into the garden.

This caused a complete disaster. 37 metres of the garden had to be removed and replanted. The drill holes had to be covered up and made certain that there was no possibility of friable asbestos. And other health reports had to be done before the place could be occupied.

A report has been given to say that the particular substance, although asbestos, is at the lowest level of possible harm, indicated that it was not unhealthy, and it was completely occupiable.

Unfortunately, the property manager rented the house to a solicitor. I’ve warned you before to beware of the solicitor but maybe it should be a stated that you should never rent a house to a solicitor because they seem to be a constant problem in the mix.

The solicitor has now sued the landlord for $14,000. $8,000 for all the rent and $6,000 for pain and suffering. He also sought a copy of the certificate of currency so that if the children get sick at any time in the future, he will be able to make a claim.

These are the matters which need to be referred to the agent’s professional indemnity insurer and the landlord’s insurer. Yes, it may cost you in terms of excess at some point in the future, but it is the reason why you have insurers. I’m certain this $14,000 will at some time blow out to be much more when a solicitor is involved. Let the insurance company’s solicitor manage it so that the agency can get on with the business of looking after the landlord’s properties.

This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email info@leveragegroup.com.au