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Buying a house with asbestos

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Feb 6, 2023

Buying a house with asbestos – Can you get a mortgage on it? Here is what you can do…

Until the late 1990s, when asbestos-containing materials became fully known for their dangers, naturally-occurring asbestos was used in many homes throughout the UK and the rest of the world.

Although asbestos has been banned from the construction industry, it is still used in some buildings.

You might be curious about how to mortgage residential properties with asbestos if it is in the property you are interested in buying.

Enquire below discuss a house with asbestos-containing materials:

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Is it possible for a mortgage to be secured on an asbestos-containing property?

It is theoretically possible to obtain a mortgage for a property with asbestos present. It will be more complicated and require you to jump through many hoops.

Half of all mortgage lenders are open to mortgages for properties with asbestos materials. Each mortgage lender has its own rules and may carry out an asbestos survey by trained asbestos surveyors.

Asbestos exposure can be a hazardous material. It can have serious consequences, such as a health hazard to human health, and lung cancer, and it is often necessary to conduct thorough asbestos surveys and assessments before making any firm offers.

However, it is also worth factoring in that the valuation of a property with asbestos is more likely to be undervalued by a surveyor, potentially causing the entire property sale to stall.

It is wise to seek professional advice from a mortgage broker at the beginning. This will help you save time and make it easier to find the right lender.

Why is it so difficult?

Asbestos inhalation can severely affect the lungs, leading to lung diseases and cancers. Lenders should be cautious about asbestos because of the potential dangers to health and life. This also has financial implications.

To be asbestos-free can be very costly to remove, and lenders will consider this a risk regarding the resale price.

If you default on your mortgage payments, and the lender has to recoup their loan through the sale of your house, they may be left with potential costs or even unable to sell your property.

Where can you find asbestos?

It is a strong and cheap building material. Asbestos was widely used as building construction materials between 1930 and 1950. It was used mainly for corrugated roofing and flooring and can even be sprayed on ceiling tiles and walls. It is also found close to boilers, pipes and garages.

While asbestos is not a danger by itself, it can be dangerous if it is damaged or disturbed in any way. Lenders may consider the risk of buying a house with asbestos roof tiles as minimal if it is not concerned. By the 1970s, most builders had stopped using asbestos.

What should you do?

First, contact a mortgage broker who will help you through your application and situation. They will first point you to the most accommodating lenders. After that, they will most likely ask a surveyor to assess the property before proceeding with any further steps.

While some lenders may insist that you use their surveyors, others demand that you source your independent expert. They will require them to be UKATA, UKAS or ATAC qualified. The findings of these experts will help determine the severity of the problem and the next steps. This is either a firm no or something you and your lender can agree to.

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Can removing asbestos increase your chances of getting a mortgage?

If you believe that asbestos could have an adverse impact on your ability to get a mortgage for a property, you might consider having the material removed by a professional. However, this will likely cost you a lot of money, so make sure you weigh the pros and cons.

Your mortgage broker can help you plan your next steps. This could include negotiating the sale price to offset the asbestos removal cost.


This is how a broker can assist you.

It can be challenging to navigate the asbestos issue in a property you want. A specialist in this field will significantly affect the outcome of your case, like the ones we work with.

Experienced mortgage brokers know which lenders will lend to applicants for properties with asbestos and their criteria. They can also advise you on the consequences of proceeding with the purchase, obtaining a mortgage, and finding a qualified surveyor.

Enquire below if you have asbestos properties. You will get mortgage advice free of charge.

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What lenders are open to this type of mortgage?

A good number of lenders are open to mortgaging properties with asbestos, which is about half the number currently on the market. This is excellent news for those who have their heart set on this home. However, lenders will consider each application individually and will take into consideration the property’s unique circumstances.

Many lenders will accept asbestos, including big names like Barclays, Nationwide, and HSBC. But there are also niche lenders such as Mansfield Building Society or Furness Building Society.

Lenders unwilling to entertain the idea of an asbestos mortgage may have a similar range. Examples include Metro Bank, Norton Home Loans, and Pepper Money.

If the property is asbestos-containing, it’s not a good idea to approach a lender directly. A broker can help you match you with the best mortgage provider based on the severity of the problem.

Existe any additional eligibility requirements?

Apart from the fact that each property will be reported individually, lenders also support a few factors such as that asbestos must not be in load-bearing walls, age, and any damage.

Apart from that, a mortgage for a property with asbestos can be obtained just like any other mortgage, subject to all the eligibility criteria. The process also has a feasibility component.

Can you get a buy-to-let mortgage?

Potentially, yes. A buy-to-let mortgage is treated the same as a residential. It will be evaluated on its merits, subject to a professional report. Sometimes, it may not be load-bearing walls or broken down or damaged.

What happens if your mortgage has been declined due to asbestos?

Even if you have already encountered resistance, don’t lose heart in your goals. It can be challenging to navigate this complex area of the mortgage market without professional guidance and access to contacts and experience. You don’t have to be rejected for a mortgage once, but it doesn’t mean you will again.

However, applying through an asbestos broker the next time you visit is recommended, as this will increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Match you with an asbestos broker

Our specialist mortgage advisors are the best. We can match you with an expert in the area you require, so they will be able to understand your needs immediately.

You don’t have to give up on your mortgage dreams just because you find asbestos in a property. To learn more, enquire below.

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Can I get a mortgage for a commercial property with asbestos?

This guidance is the same for residential properties. Lenders will assess your situation and make a decision. Harpenden Building Society, for example, stipulates that borrowing is allowed as long as an asbestos management plan is in place.

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