Three forms of landowner liability protections (LLPs) are defined by the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002. It is important to note that these LLPs do not infer that a property does not need to be investigated and/or remediated – they simply place the financial liability on others, usually the previous landowner or an adjacent landowner. The current landowner will need to cooperate with all activities required on the property, which could include limitations on the use of their property.
Applies to prospective purchasers, governmental agencies acquiring properties through eminent domain or condemnation, or persons acquiring property by inheritance or bequest.
Bona fide prospective purchaser:
Applies to any prospective purchaser; differs from an “innocent landowner” because although both require “all appropriate inquiry” prior to purchase, bona fide prospective purchaser protection can apply even if evidence of contamination is discovered on the property. An innocent landowner protection only applies if there is no evidence found that contamination may exist prior to purchase.
Contiguous property owner:
Applies to property owner who’s property is contaminated due to releases from an adjacent property, owned by a separate party.
Caltha LLP assists prospective purchasers of commercial and industrial real estate to preserve their Landowner Liability Protections.