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Are environmental toxins or pollutants on the property you want?

When you look to buy a piece of commercial property here in Illinois, you obviously have numerous considerations to look into before finalizing your purchase. Your due diligence includes title searches, surveys and financing issues. However, have you considered whether any environmental toxins or pollutants exist on the property that could cause you problems in the future?

As part of the seller's responsibilities, the law requires that he or she make certain disclosures about the property. This includes any existing or potential environmental issues. In addition to any Illinois laws that apply, numerous federal law must be complied with when it comes to the property, whether it is industrial or for some other commercial purpose.

For instance, does the property comply with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other regulations enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency? Some properties fall under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which you may know as the Superfund Act. Perhaps there are considerations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act attached to the property. Unless you know what you face when it comes to complying with various environmental issues, a piece of property that seems "like a steal," could end up costing you much more in the future.

It would be more beneficial to discover any environmental toxins or pollutants on the property prior to finalizing your purchase. However, if you only discover them after the fact, you may still have options. In either case, it may help to have an Illinois real estate attorney on your side who can help you conduct the appropriate due diligence to determine issues ahead of time, or in the alternative, help you exercise your legal options if you discover an issue later that the seller failed to mention.

Source: epa.gov, "Summary of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund)", Accessed on April 15, 2018

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