RESIDENTS of Greenwood flats in St Julians have expressed concern after they were told by Newport City Homes that their flats are being inspected for asbestos.

The flats are among a number of Newport City Homes (NCH) properties that are undergoing asbestos checks, but some residents are puzzled as to why the checks are under way now when they were previously only done regularly in communal areas.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “They (NCH) haven't checked out individual flats in the past.

“The only time that that asbestos issues came up was four or five years ago when they were doing refurbishment work.

“People may have been drilling being totally unaware that there's asbestos.”

Asbestos, generally found in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000, is only dangerous if damaged or disturbed and can be found in old floor tiles.

Some residents who did not want to have their flat renovated have older floor tiles under the carpets.

NCH are surveying every home built before 2000 that does not have an up-to-date record over the next 12 months.

They will also be surveying communal areas and will continue check these areas every year.

Sonia Furzland, executive director of property and place at Newport City Homes said: “We would like to reassure our customers that asbestos checks are one of many checks we carry out as a responsible landlord to make sure their home is in good condition.

“These regulatory and legal requirements should not be a cause for concern.

“Our customers will receive a letter from Newport City Homes when they are due for a survey, and our approved asbestos management contractors will make contact and arrange an appointment at a convenient time before attending.

“We’re sorry that some of our customers at Greenwood are concerned about this routine work.

“We would encourage anyone who is worried or concerned about an asbestos survey to call the phone number on the letter for a one-to-one chat with our team to put their minds at ease.”

However, residents have complained that the surveyors have been almost impossible to reach by phone and one resident claimed that they turned up to their flat without previously booking an appointment.


NCH say that the asbestos management contractors are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited surveyors and will log the location, type and condition of any asbestos found.

If found, NCH will either remove the asbestos, encapsulate or ‘coat’ it with a sealant paint, or leave it alone and regularly check on it.

Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to a condition called asbestosis which causes people to have trouble breathing as the lining of their lungs thickens and their heart will enlarge.

People suffering with asbestosis have an increased risk of developing cancer.