Over the past few months there has been a lot of talk in the media about Mr Fluffy homes and how the ACT Government is going to address the safe removal of asbestos from these properties.
In recent weeks it was announced that the ACT Government would offer to buy back the land from affected home owners and take on the responsibility of removing the asbestos from the block and remedying the site for future construction.
At present the Territory’s Buyback Program is voluntary with the scheme requiring eligible home owners to lodge an application with the Asbestos Response Taskforce by 30 June 2015. Those who fail to meet the deadline or whom elect to remain in the home will be subject to restrictive asbestos management plans and responsible for all costs associated with the future handling and removal of the loose asbestos. At this stage the ACT Government has not ruled out the possibility of implementing compulsory acquisition of affected homes in the future.
As part of the Buyback Program, affected home owners will receive:-
- Market value for the land and improvements of the affected block (as determined by independent valuers as at 28 October 2014);
- Access to a one-off stamp duty waiver (capped); and
- First right of refusal to purchase the affected block following remediation of the site.
Whilst the scheme applies to most Mr Fluffy homes it is important to note that it does not apply to units in a Units Plan. An alternative scheme has been set up for these limited cases. It also does not apply to home owners whom purchased an affected block after 28 October 2014, except in very limited circumstances.
In addition to the Buyback Program, the ACT Government is offering other forms of assistance such as the Relocation Assistance Grant for eligible home owners and tenants whom vacate the affected property after 28 October 2014.
If you or somebody you know would like further information on this scheme, please contact Emma Bragg at Tetlow Legal on (02) 6140 3263 or at [email protected]