Given the increased use and development of former industrial land, contamination is a significant issue for developers, investors and occupiers alike.
Environmental legislation provides that, where land is contaminated, the polluter must pay for the clean up. However, as the contamination may have happened many years ago or on other land from which the contamination has leached, it is not always possible to determine who the polluter was. In this situation it is the owner or occupier (including tenants) who can be held responsible for the costly remediation.
We can advise you upon the investigations required to ascertain the risk of land being contaminated and your options if it is. These can include:
- Obtaining indemnities from a seller or landlord;
- Excluding liability for historic contamination;
- Obtaining environmental liability indemnity insurance; or
- Negotiating a reduction in the purchase price for the land, to take account of the potential expenditure for clean up where this cannot be avoided, for example on development.
Other environmental issues which are becoming increasingly important, affecting all property owners investors and businesses, whether large or small, include;
- Regulations regarding asbestos and other hazardous materials;
- Carbon emissions; and
- Energy performance of buildings;
compliance with which can also be costly and needs to be considered at the outset. We can make the necessary enquiries regarding such matters and advise you upon the same before you commit yourself to such liabilities.
Please contact the Commercial Team for more information.