A satirical view at carrying out inspections within social housing

As the years of experience obtained by our surveying team continue to build, it is easy to reflect on the numerous asbestos surveys carried out by our team and highlight some of the obstacles and problems we have encountered within this environment.

One immediate obstacle faced by our team on a daily basis is the tenant’s lack of knowledge as to why we are there and what an asbestos survey actually means. A tenant can’t be blamed for this, after all we are supposed to be the experts in this field and not them. The general misconceptions when we are pleasantly greeted at the front door are:

“Sure there’s no asbestos here, this house was only built in 1995 and surely they don’t use it any more so why would there be any here?”

“Why do you need to check in there, you won’t find asbestos there, it only grows in the roof space”

“It can’t be that bad, I used to install it into buildings for years and it never did me any harm!”

Tenants can’t be blamed for these misconceptions, after all, most information regarding asbestos is aimed towards construction workers and maintenance staff, and I don’t feel there is any problem with this as these occupations are most likely the people that may disturb asbestos but what about the people that live in these properties? People possibly of poor health or with children?

Another common hurdle we come across on a daily basis when carrying out surveys to social housing is the misconception that we are able to influence the housing association, council etc. to make decisions on maintenance works they should carry out. Unfortunately our opinion on whether the pink bathroom as painted by a previous tenant needs repainted or not or if the broken window in the back garden shattered by the kids football exploits (or so we are usually told!) should be replaced or not, counts for nothing!

We would love to be able to help everyone we come across and being offered cups of tea and cream buns does make us want to help that bit more but unfortunately it doesn’t change anything. That being said, I am yet to meet a surveyor that doesn’t like a few buns and a cup of tea!

It has to be said that even though there are obstacles when carrying out these works, usually there is nothing that can’t be overcome with a simple conversation and a bit of honesty when discussing our works with the tenant. And I have to admit, 90% of the tenants we meet are generally good craic!

With so many years of experience within our team you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking we have seen it all and that there is nothing we haven’t seen! Fortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth and hopefully there is many more surprising and entertaining years left before we have experienced it all!



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