Buying, Selling, & Leasing Texas Properties
Real estate transactions are rarely simple. But one of the most underestimated factors influencing the value and legal implications of Texas real estate is environmental law.
Contracts involving environmentally sensitive properties or businesses are not routine, normal transactions. They usually carry a much greater risk of loss for all parties. Some transactions require the acquisition or transfer of permits. Others require the seller and buyer to allocate liabilities for prior environmental contamination and cleanup. In some cases, a prior environmental cleanup has imposed development restrictions on the property. In all cases, each party should understand the risks, liabilities, and opportunities involved, and that will likely require the aid of an experienced environmental attorney.
Navigating Environmentally Sensitive Real Estate Transactions
Protecting yourself from a legally hazardous transaction is not as simple as obtaining a Phase 1 or Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment that identifies “recognized environmental conditions.” Those reports include many subjective decisions that can affect the stated conclusions, and each party can influence those decisions. Whether you are obtaining or evaluating an ESA, our seasoned legal team will provide the guidance you need to understand the report and its methods.
Our primary goal is to ensure you are well-informed about your potential investment, or, if you are the seller, that the sale advances your best interests. Due to the complexity of environmental laws surrounding real estate, you will need to navigate a variety of issues before completing the transaction.
Here are a few issues that are unique to environmentally sensitive properties or businesses:
- Insurance to cover environmental risk
- Representations and warranties of property condition and the seller’s knowledge
- Transferring or obtaining permits
- Evaluating how the site’s history will affect the buyer’s TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) compliance history
- Evaluating whether any outstanding environmental fines or liens will affect the buyer
Ranches are some of the more complex types of real estate in regards to environmental law. If you purchase, sell, lease, or run a business through a ranch, you may need to adhere to animal care and health regulations, local environmental ordinances, zoning laws, and renovation procedures.
If you are selling, purchasing, or developing a business, environmental regulations will affect your potential profit, your company’s value, and various aspects of your business model. We can assist you with regulated business operations to protect you from potential legal issues and help ensure your long-term success.
No matter the type of Texas property or business your transaction involves, you will greatly benefit from an environmental lawyer who is experienced in real estate law. Our attorney at McPherson Law Firm PLLC has practiced commercial real estate law for over two decades. He has the experience you need to draft and close contracts for the sale, purchase, and use of environmentally affected properties or environmentally sensitive business operations.
Development and Construction Laws
More and more, state and local laws restrict or otherwise influence construction and development plans.
These restrictions often include:
- Rules limiting impervious cover
- Well-spacing requirements
- Stormwater discharge management
- LEED standards
In cases of urban redevelopment, Texas laws are even more restrictive. While “horizontal” growth (in which investors and developers expand and build outside of urban areas) is relatively restriction-free, “vertical” growth (renewing/redeveloping urban areas) presents a host of legal, financial, and environmental hurdles.
Mr. McPherson has the experience needed to guide clients through this maze of regulations, helping developers and construction firms comply with environmental requirements while bearing in mind their effects on profitability. Alternatively, if you are selling property for the purpose of urban redevelopment, we can ensure you receive the amount to which you are entitled.
Lending Against Contaminated Properties
Some federal laws (e.g. CERCLA) provide safe harbor for lenders or prospective purchasers who complete a certain level of due diligence prior to closing the purchase. Under Texas law, however, landowners are always responsible for the environmental condition of their land.
When a lender forecloses a lien on real property, therefore, they insert themselves into the ownership chain of title and assume all subsequent environmental risks. At McPherson Law Firm PLLC, we help borrowers and lenders close transactions that use contaminated properties, or environmental business risks, as loan collateral.
Contact Us Today for Focused Representation
At McPherson Law Firm PLLC, our attorney combines his real estate background with his in-depth knowledge of environmental law in order to provide comprehensive, airtight counsel for every client. If you are about to engage in a property transaction in Texas, seeking our support will greatly improve your likelihood of securing the profit you anticipate while adhering to all local, state, and federal regulations.