Managing Purchaser’s Risks When Buying
Potentially Contaminated Land
The most important thing to understand about contaminated land is that land owners can be held responsible for the remediation of contamination on their land.
For this reason, it’s essential that anyone purchasing property investigate the property’s contamination status prior to purchase, because land ownership changes transfer environmental liabilities to the new owner.
This means it’s possible to unwittingly purchase a hidden environmental liability along with land title - particularly where the remediation expenses required to develop the land are not fully understood. Seriously, just one mistake in this area can be so expensive it’s enough to literally bankrupt an investor or developer.
That’s why you should never purchase land that has been used for commercial purposes without first getting a qualified Environmental Specialist to report on the potential contamination status of the land.
Similarly, from the point of view of vendors, suitable contamination reports may need to be prepared in advance, so a sale can be made.
If a vendor discloses that a site has been contaminated, then it is the purchasers' responsibility to decipher the cost of remediating the site before sale, and to adequately factor this cost into the purchase price by reviewing the information provided, or through further investigations. Even where reports are provided, it is imperative to protect yourself against limited, inadequate or misleading work done by others.
Atma Environmental gives independent property due diligence advice for land developers, builders, financiers, government bodies and other commercial and industrial concerns; and have been chosen to deliver environmental due diligence advice to some of Australia’s largest land developers. We have forged an industry-leading reputation for delivering fast, responsive property due diligence advice that meets the critical needs of clients in both corporate and government sectors.
Glenn Berry, the founder of Atma Environmental, has over 30 years experience in Environmental Consulting and is a specialist in the management and assessment of contaminated land.
How can we assist you? If you are considering purchasing a potentially contaminated site or wish to know if it is potentially contaminated, don’t wait. Call us now so we can review the location, what you are planning for the site, what is known about it, and what the risks may be.
We’ll do this at no obligation over the phone. It may be best 20 cents you ever spend.
Conversely, we will assist vendors in achieving the maximum fair value for their land by planning and providing a commercially-reasonable contamination disclosure report which reduces purchaser’s concerns, uncertainty and discounted price offers.
We also recommend downloading of our free report “What you Need to Know About Contaminated Land” which contains a detailed overview of issues land owners need to consider when purchasing land that may be contaminated.
Call Atma Environmental now on +61-3-9429 6955.