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Mum warns house buyers at Thanet House in Napier Road, Northfleet, to check for asbestos

A concerned mother is urging house hunters to check for asbestos in their homes before they move in.

The mum-of-two Marie Sandhu, 31, and her husband, Jazz, had planned to re-lay their floor with carpet when the shock discovery was made.

The family moved into Thanet House in Napier Road, Northfleet, in July last year, with their two children, Leon, six, and Jasmine, two.

Marie with her two children and abestos in the floorboards
Marie with her two children and abestos in the floorboards

Mrs Sandhu says she only learned the property contained the killer material during a visit from her landlord last month.

She said: “They say it is only dangerous if it is disturbed, but the landlord knew as soon as I moved into the property that I wanted to pull the floor up and at no point did anyone say to me that I had to be aware of the asbestos.”

"People need to be aware that no one is going to tell them." - Marie Sandhu

Mrs Sandhu has reported her concerns to Gravesham council but she remains worried about her children’s welfare.

She hopes her experience can now act as a warning for others who are looking to move in to a house.

Mrs Sandhu said: "People are moving into their homes without being told because they do not have to tell you by law.

“Home buyers need to be aware that no one is going to tell them.

“My children have been playing on an asbestos floor, they could have been exposed to it for the last seven months."

A spokesman for Gravesend Churches Housing Association (GCHA), Mrs Sandhu’s landlord, said: “GCHA holds an up-to-date Asbestos Register as required by The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

“The register is updated by a rolling programme of specialist surveys which categorises the presence of materials which may contain asbestos fibres in our properties.

“Based on these surveys, GCHA has no high level risk properties and Thanet House has been identified as having the lowest risk – category D – materials in thermoplastic floor tiles.

Asbestos under the floor
Asbestos under the floor

“These are generally covered in additional floor covering therefore the risk of any fibre release is minimal.

“All contractors are given a copy of the Asbestos Register so that any work they may undertake to any property can be carried out safely and specialist contractors brought in by them if necessary.

“In the past, GCHA has advised tenants via a mail shot about the possible presence of asbestos and we will gladly do so again; we will also include an article in our next newsletter to keep tenants up to date.”

Asbestos is now illegal in the construction or refurbishment of any premises. Any buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000 may contain asbestos.

As long as the asbestos-containing material (ACM) is in good condition, and is not being or going to be disturbed or damaged, there is negligible risk.

If asbestos is disturbed or damaged, it can become a danger to health, because people may breathe in any asbestos fibres released into the air.

It was extensively used from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s. Prolonged exposure and breathing in of the fibres can lead to the disease asbestosis and cancer.

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