The US Environmental Protection Agency has an impact on practically every aspect of the economy – including real estate development. Homeowners, renters, buyers, investors and other persons concerned with real estate development are all mandated to comply with certain rules and regulations when it comes to the use and purchase of land.
The Role of EPA in Real Estate
As you know, many chemicals may be found and dumped in real estate properties. From lead in the furnishings to oil under the ground, the EPA sets standards that would regulate how property owners should deal with their real estate if any sort of environmental risk is involved.
Through such rules, the role of EPA becomes obvious: to make any contamination of real estate publicly known for the benefit of everyone who has interest in said real estate. Both buyers and sellers are now required to undergo an appropriate inquiry to find out the relative safety of the area. The purpose of EPA is not to prevent the use of real estate altogether but rather, to find out contaminant problems in order to address the issue and make it safer for its occupants.
Impact of EPA – What Real Estate Developers Should Know
The new rules of EPA add a new layer of procedure for buyers, homeowners, renters, sellers, and investors when it comes to real estate. Although it prolongs that process for the transfer of property, it undoubtedly provides an additional layer of safety for the end user. Here’s what every person in the sector should know:
Buyers should now request the following papers before pursuing purchase of property built before 1978.
· EPA-approved pamphlet detailing the identification of lead based paint and how to control it
· A “Lead Warning Statement” attached to the contract and an affirmation that the seller has met the notification requirements
· Disclosure of any known information regarding the existence of lead-based paint in the property.
· A total of 10 days inspection for lead based paint. The inspection may be waived, lengthened, or shortened.
The same obligations are required of real estate agents who are selling homes.
If you’re renting property which was built before 1978, you should also get the following from your landlord:
· An information pamphlet approved by the EPA
· Disclosure of any information relating to lead-based paint in the property
· An attachment of Lead Warning Statement in the contract.
Around 2002, more guidelines have been released by the EPA which could put real estate developers at risk of paying liability for contaminants. Fortunately, there’s a set of guidelines accompanying this release which can help real estate developers protect themselves from liability:
· Interviews with past and present owners to find out the possibility of contaminant release in the property
· Review of available records regarding waste disposal, water use, spill records, and other contaminant-risk activities
· Review of historical information about the property like department records, photographs, and previous uses of the property since it was developed
· Presence of any environmental cleanup lies
All in all, these EPA regulations will require due diligence on the part of the real property developer with the end goal of making homes and buildings safer for people occupation.