Commercial property transactions toolkit—environmental issues to consider
Produced in partnership with ELM Law
Commercial property transactions toolkit—environmental issues to consider

The following Environment practice note produced in partnership with ELM Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Commercial property transactions toolkit—environmental issues to consider
  • Environmental issues to consider
  • Land contamination and water pollution
  • Underground storage tanks (USTs)
  • Environmental permits
  • Septic tanks
  • Landfills
  • Flooding
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Asbestos in buildings
  • More...

Commercial property transactions toolkit—environmental issues to consider

Environmental issues to consider

Since environmental liability concerns can delay or frustrate transactions, the parties should consider if any environmental issues need to be raised at the heads of terms stage, such as:

  1. will the seller be providing any environmental reports?

  2. does the buyer need to commission any site investigations?

  3. has the seller provided asbestos documentation such as a recent survey, updated register and an asbestos management plan?

  4. is there any need to transfer or apply for environmental permits?

  5. what is the agreed position for contaminated land liabilities—if the property is ‘sold with information’, will the buyer take responsibility for liabilities under the contaminated land regime only, or for ‘all liabilities and losses under environmental law’?

  6. is there any need for environmental insurance?

For a general overview of environmental issues in property transactions, see Practice Notes and Checklist:

  1. Environmental issues in property transactions—acting for a buyer

  2. Environmental issues in property transactions—acting for a seller

  3. Environmental issues in property transactions when acting for a seller—checklist

Land contamination and water pollution

The Environment Agency (EA) has estimated that there are over 300,000 hectares of land in England and Wales affected by contamination. The liability risks associated with land contamination and water pollution are summarised in the table below:

Regulatory actionThird party liabilitiesContractual liabilitiesOther

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