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Old 24.01.2017, 21:35
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Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

Hi,
We came back from Xmas in the UK to find a note from the police that there had been a flood downstairs and the building Regie had to fix it in our flat so they had broken in. They left a huge hole in our bathroom wall poorly covered in a bin liner and plenty of dust and debri around. A month later it was still not fixed and they suddenly told us they needed to do an asbestos test. Within 2 hours they told us it was positive and we should leave our flat for at least a week wile they fix it. They also told us that I should contact my house insurance for temporary rehousing. My house insurance say that it is not covered. I have standard combined insurance. We need somewhere to stay, probably for several weeks from tomorrow. I also want my whole flat cleaned of these asbestos particles as I have a 3 year old. We were all breathing this in for a month. My question is who pays for all this? Surely the building Regie. Surely I don't have to pay? Thanks.
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Old 24.01.2017, 21:48
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

I very much doubt you'll pay for this, major repairs normally have to be taken at the landlords cost.

Someone should pay for your accommodation too, at the very least you should be able to claim all rent back from the time you cannot live there.

It might be worth getting in touch with the renters association, though you might have to be a member https://www.mieterverband.ch/
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Old 24.01.2017, 21:55
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

The insurance of the landlord is responsible! They must cover all expenses including cleanup and temp housing.
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Old 24.01.2017, 21:56
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

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I very much doubt you'll pay for this, major repairs normally have to be taken at the landlords cost.

Someone should pay for your accommodation too, at the very least you should be able to claim all rent back from the time you cannot live there.

It might be worth getting in touch with the renters association, though you might have to be a member https://www.mieterverband.ch/
Asloca is the tenants association for Geneva.

http://www.asloca.ch/asloca-genève
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Old 24.01.2017, 22:10
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

Best bet is to move out and find a new place. Anyplace built after 1995 should be OK. Also insist on having all belongings professionally decontaminated or replaced! All belongings.
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Old 24.01.2017, 22:58
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

I have experienced similar.
If any structural work is done on buildings of a certain age asbestos tests must be performed before the work is concluded and if any is detected then the whole area must be cleared.
The asbestos "amiante" is most probably in the tile grout. Will be in microscopic amounts so risk is actually not so high, but they will need to remove all the tiles and replace, working in breathing gear and afterwards get the air tested and approved before you can go back in.
If I recall correctly there are special contractors approved to do this work and a bureau who deals with the approval that it has been completed safely.
Took a number of weeks in our case.
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Old 24.01.2017, 23:04
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

Just to put some perspective on it, don't think death is imminent. Asbestos concentrations in those sort of things is very small and you'd do about as much harm smoking a few marloboroughs. Long term repeated exposure to asbestos kills, one time exposure like that is not a huge deal.

There are plenty of certified contractors who will do the removal though the fees they charge are beyond the pale. As said, this is not for you to pay.
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Old 25.01.2017, 10:00
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

We had small amounts of asbestos in the tile cement in our refurb, and had to have it taken out in the washroom and the bathroom. Setting it up with the firm Dekonta took about a week, and the removal took about three days... but they take it very seriously. They made the rooms airtight and set up chambers so that they could shower in their moonsuits. In our case, we had 2% asbestos in the tile cement... in some houses it is possible to have 100% for example in insulation.

Cost was around 20k ... of course, as owners we had to pay. As a renter, there is no circumstance you would have to.

While you move out temporarily, you will not have to pay rent and this can be put towards whatever temp accomodation you come up with. The shortfall might be covered by insurance but I cannot say.

Asbestos is only harmful when damaged, such as the hole made in your case. So it might be poss that you have it in other undamaged tiled areas of your apartment. Up to you what you think about that.
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Old 25.01.2017, 10:17
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

If I understand the OP correctly I think his biggest worry at the moment is finding alternative accommodation during the work and whose responsibility it is to pay for it.
Asloca will be able to advise him on that.
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Old 26.01.2017, 22:41
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Re: Asbestos in Bathroom Tiles - Told to leave flat

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If I understand the OP correctly I think his biggest worry at the moment is finding alternative accommodation during the work and whose responsibility it is to pay for it.
Asloca will be able to advise him on that.
Actually the official place to contact is SUVA!
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