If you are renting a property and believe that you or your family is being exposed to asbestos either due to the deterioration of asbestos containing materials or due to repair/renovation work, contact the agent or the owner immediately and tell them about your concerns.
As the occupier of the property, in the case that any removal of asbestos has been done, you should have been notified prior to any work being done at the property. When any work is being done, you need to make sure that if any asbestos is found, it will be removed and disposed of properly. If the work is being done by someone other than the owner, the property becomes a workplace, and Part 4.4 (Asbestos) of Victoria's OHS Regulations apply. This means that any removal work must be done by a trained person, and, in most cases, by a licensed removalist.
If work has already begun, ask the workers to stop immediately and not to continue until you have spoken to the owner/agent.
In a case reported in The Age a woman who developed lung cancer (mesothelioma) after she was exposed to asbestos while living in public housing won compensation. She reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the Director of Housing.
Tenant's Union: If you have a problem with either the owner or the agent, contact the Tenant's Union on 03) 9416 2577, send them an email seeking advice, or call into their offices at 55 Johnston St, Fitzroy. They also have information on their website on a range of topics and in a range of different languages.
Last amended September 2019