The Intricacies of Environmental Liens on Commercial Properties in Florida: Risks & Protections
May 15, 2023
When it comes to purchasing commercial properties in the sunshine state of Florida, it is essential to understand the intricacies of environmental liens and the risks and protections they provide. This is especially true for properties located near water (such as rivers, lakes, and the ocean), as well as those that are used for industrial purposes.
An environmental lien is a legal instrument that is placed on a property when a state or federal agency determines that the property contains hazardous materials or is in a state of disrepair. The lien protects the agency's interest in the property by preventing the owner from transferring ownership of the property without the agency's consent. The lien also provides for the potential for the agency to recoup costs associated with cleaning up any hazardous materials that are located on the property.
The risks associated with environmental liens are significant, as they can significantly reduce the value of a property and can significantly increase the cost of maintenance and cleanup. Additionally, environmental liens can make it difficult to obtain financing for the property, as lenders may be unwilling to provide a loan if there is an environmental lien attached to the property.
Luckily, there are protections in place for those wishing to purchase commercial properties in Florida. The first is to research the past of the property prior to purchasing it. It is important to understand the potential for an environmental lien to be placed on the property, and research can provide insight into the potential for an environmental lien. Additionally, it is important to obtain a due diligence review by a qualified environmental consultant prior to the purchase. This can provide insight into the potential for any hazardous materials on the property and the potential for an environmental lien to be placed on the property.
Finally, it is important to understand the existing laws and regulations related to environmental liens in Florida. For example, a property owner may be able to:
- Negotiate a settlement with the state or federal agency that has placed the lien on the property
- Have the lien removed if the hazardous materials on the property have been satisfactorily cleaned up
In conclusion, understanding the intricacies of environmental liens on commercial properties in Florida is essential for those wishing to purchase such properties. With the right research, due diligence, and knowledge of Florida laws and regulations related to environmental liens, potential property owners can ensure that their purchase is a safe and sound one.