Q&As

If a sales agreement is silent as to environmental liabilities, what is the position? If an actionable nuisance comes to light after the property has been sold (such as escape of water onto neighbouring property) who is liable; (a) the party that caused the nuisance, or (b) the owner of the property at the time the nuisance is discovered? Is there a Precedent contract clause which states that the seller retains liability for actionable nuisance, if it can be shown that they caused the issue?

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Published on LexisPSL on 05/04/2018

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a sales agreement is silent as to environmental liabilities, what is the position? If an actionable nuisance comes to light after the property has been sold (such as escape of water onto neighbouring property) who is liable; (a) the party that caused the nuisance, or (b) the owner of the property at the time the nuisance is discovered? Is there a Precedent contract clause which states that the seller retains liability for actionable nuisance, if it can be shown that they caused the issue?
  • Position where the contract for sale is silent in relation to environmental liabilities
  • Position where an actionable nuisance comes to light after the property has been sold
  • Precedent clause which states that the seller retains liability for actionable nuisance, if it can be shown that they caused the issue

If a sales agreement is silent as to environmental liabilities, what is the position? If an actionable nuisance comes to light after the property has been sold (such as escape of water onto neighbouring property) who is liable; (a) the party that caused the nuisance, or (b) the owner of the property at the time the nuisance is discovered? Is there a Precedent contract clause which states that the seller retains liability for actionable nuisance, if it can be shown that they caused the issue?

Position where the contract for sale is silent in relation to environmental liabilities

If a contract for the sale of land is silent in relation to environmental liabilities, the position on who is liable depends on a number of factors such as the nature of the liability, who caused or knowingly permitted the issue and when it occurred. For example, there are several types of liability for land contamination including liability for contaminated land under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990). (see Practice Note: Land contamination—potential liabilities). Liability for contaminated land under EPA 1990, Pt IIA is strict and retrospective. Class A persons who cause or knowingly permit the contamination are liable. This could include subsequent purchaser who did not cause by knowingly permit the contamination. It is only where a Class A person cannot be found

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