Residential tenants, lessors and landlords

Many houses built before 1990 were constructed using materials that contained asbestos, which is not a problem if the materials are in good condition. If they are in good condition the safest option is to leave them alone and not disturb them.

However, if asbestos in a rental property is damaged or is to be removed, then it is usually the landlord’s responsibility to make it safe. The landlord must ensure the rental property is kept in good repair and is safe for the tenant to live in.

Before disturbing asbestos – no matter how minor – it’s important that adequate precautions are taken. If you decide to remove the asbestos from a property you own the safest option is to engage a business licensed to remove asbestos to do the work.

Damaged boundary fences

Damaged boundary fences, including cracks and holes in the fence, or sections of the fence on the ground, may not pose an immediate health risk but any damaged edges should be sealed to avoid asbestos fibres becoming airborne. This can be done by applying paint or PVA glue to the surface.

The repair or maintenance of a fence may fall under a condition of your residential tenancy agreement. As a tenant, you should notify the landlord or property manager and request to have the damaged fence made safe. If the fence is not made safe, you may notify your landlord or real estate agent that they have breached one or more of the terms of the residential tenancy agreement.

For further information about how to provide notification you can contact NT Consumer Affairs on 1800 019 319 or via email Consumer Affairs can also provide advice if your landlord does not comply with your breach notice.