Process for ‘Mr Fluffy’ Loose Fill Asbestos Buyback Scheme

Since our last article addressing the ‘Mr Fluffy’ Loose Fill Asbestos Buyback and Demolition Scheme (the Scheme) the surrender process has begun. Deeds of Surrender have already been issued for the buybacks due to settle before Christmas.

What is the process for those who have elected to participate?

Affected homeowners may accept the ACT Government’s offer to purchase their home by completing the Buyback Program: Application Form. Following receipt of the form the eligibility of the applicant will be assessed and upon confirmation the property has been identified as containing loose fill asbestos two independent valuations will be conducted on the property. A letter of offer is issued to the applicant offering the average of the two valuations. The applicant will then be presented with three options:

  1. Formally accept the offer and sum from the ACT Government to buyback the property;
  2. Contest the valuations if the applicant does not agree with the valuation amount; and
  3. Withdraw the application.

Upon acceptance of the offer the Taskforce will prepare a Deed of Surrender and associated documents for the buyback.

Required Documents

 The required documents for the transaction are:

(a) the Deed of Surrender;

(b) a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice;

(c) the completed Determination of a Crown Lease Form; and

(d) a Statutory Declaration.

It is vital that these documents are correctly completed to ensure that the surrender of the land and property occurs with ease.

Valuations

The valuations undertaken on the property will assess the market value of the house and land as at 28 October 2014. The valuer will ignore the presence of loose fill asbestos. The ACT Government will arrange a third independent valuation on the property if the first two valuations have a difference of ten percent of more in the assessed value of the property. The affected homeowner may also dispute the first two valuations and bind themselves to a third determining valuation.

Other Matters to Consider:

  • Different arrangements will apply to homeowners who entered into contracts for the purchase of the affected block after 18 February 2014 and these property owners should carefully review the different arrangements in place.
  • Affected homeowners are required to ensure that they are affixing warning stickers to meter boxes and switch boards of affected homes as mandated by the ACT Government.

If you would like advice on the process for the scheme or advice generally relating to the additional matters referred to above please do not hesitate to contact Claire Carton, Partner, or Carina Zeccola, Associate, of our office.

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