As from 23 November 2022, an asbestos certificate must be given upon every transfer of ownership of a property in Flanders, with a surface area of at least 20m2, built before 2001.
The aim is that by 2032, every premises built before 2001, has an asbestos certificate. The asbestos certificate will then apply to every premises, regardless of whether it is for sale or not.
The asbestos certificate is part of a measure taken by the Flemish government to make Flanders asbestos-safe by 2040.
1. What is an asbestos certificate?
An asbestos certificate gives a clear view of the use of asbestos in a building.
To this end, a certified asbestos expert must make an asbestos inventory of a building. The asbestos expert will do a visual inspection of the property and may take samples.
Based on his report, OVAM, the organisation in charge of waste and environment, will then issue an asbestos certificate detailing the asbestos safety of the building. If there is asbestos, the report may include an advice with information on how to remove or manage the asbestos.
2. When does the obligation to have an asbestos certificate apply?
First, the obligation to have asbestos certificate applies as soon as there is a transfer of property of a building. Such transfer of a property can be a sale, a donation, the creation or transfer of a right of usufruct, emphyteusis, superficies or a right of use in rem. Specifically, this refers to the transfer of houses, office buildings, commercial properties, industrial buildings, flats, etc. Inheritances do not fall within the scope of this regulation.
Secondly, the obligation applies to any property if its ground surface (s) is greater than or equal to 20m², or, should the ground surface be less than 20m², to any property if that property is part of a larger structure with a ground surface greater than or equal to 20m².
For the time being, a landlord does not have to have an asbestos certificate. However, should a landlord have an asbestos certificate, he is obliged to hand it over to the tenant. By 2032, however, the obligation will also apply in the context of rental properties.
3. By when must an asbestos certificate be available?
As from 23 November 2022, any real estate agent or notary must include the information regarding asbestos in the private sales agreement as well as in the authentic deed of sale. It is important that a buyer receives the information regarding a property's asbestos situation before signing the private sales agreement. It is therefore advisable for a real estate agent to mention this information already in the publicity for sale he makes.
Even for apartments, an asbestos certificate must be given as from 23 November 2022. For the common parts of a flat. The obligation to have an asbestos certificate with respect to the common parts of an apartment building, start only from 1 May 2025.
For the time being, this obligation only applies in Flanders. Wallonia and Brussels have not yet worked out a regulation for this.
Should you have any questions on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 (0)2 747 40 07.