Environmental issues have been responsible for putting many real estate transactions on hold. That’s unfortunate because it is almost always possible to manage environmental risks if they are properly identified. To avoid potential legal problems, any environmental issues that have been discovered must be dealt with prior to the real estate closing.
Land contamination receives a lot of attention, especially for commercial real estate transactions. A previous owner’s business may have caused a problem that is discovered prior to the purchase, or the contamination may have an off-site source. It’s essential, according to Real Estate Lawyers in Bel Air MD, to determine who is legally liable and to define the potential risks. Any sources of drinking water near the contaminated area will complicate the problem.
Mold is well-known for the health risks that it can represent to those who live or work in a mold-contaminated building. Usually, the building lacks adequate ventilation. Air conditioning ducts contaminated with mold may be discovered in pre-sale building inspections. In recent years, there have been some substantial personal injury judgments awarded to people whose health suffered after exposure to toxic mold. Landlords and employers need to be particularly vigilant about the possibility of toxic molds in their buildings.
Older commercial buildings in Maryland may be found to contain asbestos in flooring, roof shingles, or as an insulating material for pipes. The costs involved with removing and disposing of asbestos can be substantial. If asbestos is identified as an issue, the assignment of liability needs to be clearly determined prior to a real estate closing.
Older homes may still have lead paint, a serious issue if young children will be living in the home. Lead paint can also contaminate the soil when lead paint chips fall from the exterior of the building, which is a concern for anyone growing vegetables. Before buying an older building, a professional evaluation may be wise.
Environmental assessments are standard in many real estate transactions. Often, environmental consultants are retained through Real Estate Lawyers in Bel Air MD, so that their work product is subject to the attorney/client privilege.
Michael S. Birch, Attorney at Law in Bel Air, MD, has been handling complicated real estate transactions for over 35 years. He understands the implications of environmental issues and knows how to properly and efficiently manage these concerns. Visit Website to contact him. Night and weekend appointments are available.