Today, we are living in a world that is more concerned than ever about our impact on the environment. So much so it has come to the point where we need to be aware of our environmental liabilities, as any unnecessary damage or pollution can be very costly indeed.
Following the implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive 2004, and the Environmental Damage Regulations, which put the directive into national law in March 2009, making sure you are minimising your impact on the environment and not being careless has become more important than ever, especially if you are in property.
RPS Britain reported, “Environmental Liabilities frequently take the form of contaminated land issues but may also include operating liabilities, management issues and policy development. Other environmental concerns can include flood risk, asbestos and industrial permitting issues.”
With such a broad range of focus and so many potential ways to be found liable, we are keen to clear things up for property owners, as well as discuss how they can cover themselves.
He commented: “There are many ways property owners, whether they own or are leasing out housing, can fall foul of the Environmental Damage Regulations. One common mistake landlords fall foul of is that even though occupiers of property are fully liable for any pollution, if tenants cease to trade or stop paying then the blame lies with the owner of the land.
Landlords could be held fully responsible for the damage their tenants have caused, which can be costly when it includes compensation and clear-up charges.”
“The best way to try and stay on top of the situation and not fall foul of any nasty punishments or fines is to be vigilant. Undertake regular check-ups of the state of the land, and monitor yours and your tenants’ recycling and waste habits. Make sure to hold yourself and your tenants to a strict in-house environmental policy in order to avoid liability.”
He concluded: “Sometimes the best laid plans aren’t enough, so it’s always nice to have a safety net if your in-house systems fail or the unexpected happens. Environmental Liabilities Insurance can protect property owners against risk, and even though it shouldn’t be the be all and end all of complying with Environmental Damage Regulations, it should be a key part of it.”