Property transactions—the role of the environmental consultant (buying, selling, developing and leasing)
Produced in partnership with RSK

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

  • Property transactions—the role of the environmental consultant (buying, selling, developing and leasing)
  • Commissioning an environmental consultant
  • Scope of work
  • Approach to due diligence process
  • Desktop
  • Phase I
  • Contaminated land
  • Flooding
  • Ecology
  • Invasive species

Property transactions—the role of the environmental consultant (buying, selling, developing and leasing)

Purchasers, sellers, landlords and tenants should all be aware of the common law principle ‘caveat emptor’ meaning 'let the buyer beware', as the seller is under no duty to disclose material facts to a prospective purchaser. See Practice Notes: Enquiries before contract and Misrepresentation, misstatement and non-disclosure in property matters.

There are a range of environmental issues that could potentially lead to liabilities for parties involved in property transactions and therefore a level of environmental due diligence is recommended wherever property is changing hands. This Practice Note explores the role of the environmental consultant in advising clients in property transactions and some of those environmental issues which are most likely to have significant financial or legal implications and which should therefore be reviewed during due diligence.

Commissioning an environmental consultant

It is important to provide the context of any proposed transaction to your environmental consultant when commissioning the due diligence in order for an appropriate assessment of potential liabilities to be undertaken. The following information should be provided:

  1. What is the proposed transaction?—Landlord sale of a tenanted property, redevelopment, commercial portfolio sale etc. These scenarios will impact upon the scope of the work your consultant will undertake and the recommendations they will make. Keeping your consultant informed will mean that you will obtain better, more focused,

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