Environmental Liability: When you Buy, Sell or Lease a Contaminated Property

Environmental Liability is a complex, legal issue. It can be summed up pretty neatly by saying;

“When you Buy, Sell or Lease a Contaminated Property YOU may be the one responsible for the clean-up of any contamination. Even if you never knew it was contaminated.”

Contamination must be addressed in every single significant purchase, sale or lease transaction. Legally, you want to minimise any risk that you will be responsible for clean-up of any contamination unless you choose to do so. You can choose to purchase a contaminated property and complete the clean-up, but you will want to know the extent and type of clean-up necessary before committing to any purchase.

Property owners often seek to pass along environmental contamination liability to incoming purchasers or even to tenants. Most of the time, the property owners know significantly more about the site, the past uses, and any potential contamination issues than you could know, as the incoming party. It may seem unfair, but it is a legal position for the landlord or vendor to take.

The environmental contamination liabilities can extend from the clean-up and remediation costs to large penalties or even damages for the owners of adjoining sites. You do not want to be stuck with these potential expenses and potential delays to your development approval planning process, or construction process in achieving Auditor approvals.

Without a detailed PSI at the time you purchase, sell or lease, there are inevitably arguments about the pre-existing contamination level so it becomes impossible to determine you are not responsible.

Eliminate your risk of being held culpable for environmental liabilities that are not your responsibility.

Speak to us at [email protected] or try our online 2 minute PSI quotation portal: https://www.psireport.com.au/product/property-environmental-background-check/ if you prefer fast, quick no-nonsense payment and delivery.


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