Friday, August 19, 2011

Property Buyers on the Lookout for Contamination Left Behind By Individuals

By Duane Craig

Contamination on properties is not always as obvious
as this site was. Poor cow!
I only thought this kind of problem happened in rural areas where people have more land than they know what to do with. But apparently no matter where you are buying property, you have to beware of what someone buried there before you make the buy.

Property Contamination

According to an AOL Real Estate article, new homeowners in Lakeland, Florida went to put in an in-ground swimming pool but kept coming up with buckets of trash. Not so much household garbage but rather tires, metal parts, an old lawnmower and other relics that forced them to abandon an in-ground pool and opt for one above ground.

Sellers are supposed to disclose potential negative aspects of a property but that would depend upon them knowing about it. According to the Bainbridge Law Firm Arizona real estate and commercial litigation attorneys, buyers have to prove the sellers had knowledge of the defects in order to prevail in court. Sometimes the suits can extend to the real estate agents and the brokers that worked the transaction.

Disclosure can be necessary for some strange things. For example, in Florida owners have to disclose the presence of gopher tortoises since they are endangered and a protected species. It is illegal to harm them them or move them or to damage their nests, according to Florida Realtors Legal FAQs.

The problem with personal landfills can go back a long time because it was once very common for people to use their own properties as personal dumps. An added concern arises for those people buying properties from banks because while in some states banks are required to disclose defects it's likely they might not be aware of them since they don't occupy the property as a homeowner does.


Anonymous said...

never thought that would be an issue, but it makes sense. In this story, the previous owner was burying metals in their yard. I can only imagine what else they buried, like plastics, that could wreak havoc on the plant life on and around the property.
Posted by Ashley Hin

Anonymous said...

I bought my first home in Philadelphia next to a vacant lot adjacent to a railroad. The city decided to build townhouses on it. I knew nothing about brownfields and nothing about Philadelphia corruption. After they demolished brick coal bins with no dust control and dug up land that was known to have a 150 yr industrial history, a combination of haz mat put me in the hospital. Doctors said to removed me asap. Philadelphia political people decided to spread rumors that I was crazy and ignored all my civil rights. I was burglarized, threatened, rocks thrown at me and more. I dug up a history of a coal yard with a gas station of heavily leaded gas for the coal trucks, In the 1980's it was a construction site and I found more than one witness who knew of illegal dumping of chemicals. One person had the job of dumping directly into the ground. Kids played dare and jump over vats of acid. Environmental reports were not done at onset, although I am sure they have faked some by now. There is an underground creek and chemicals were dumped in creek that goes under our homes. I saw the oil slicks when illegal excavation uncovered the creek and the Philadelphia Water Dept. PWD ordered remediation according to PADEP but it was done with secrecy and never telling the neighbors in the small family neighborhood. My doctors asked for data on hazards. This request was refused. Crime after crime was committed and covered up by the highest levels of Philadelphia Government. It all started in 2006. I am still coughing and pay mortgage on a house I can't live in. Many crimes and civil rights violated. The city essentially commenced brutal whistleblower retaliation and risks my life everyday. I am a 57 year old women who was happy to have a home but has never been able to have my children visit and have been living in limbo and ill ever since. Lawyers are all connected here and I'm too frail to go on. Philadelphia Environmental Injustice and the corruption so common between the politicians and developers in this city have taken my life.

Anonymous said...

The responsible party was delineating a gasoline spill on my client's commercial property. While collecting background test pit (upgradient) data they encountered buried car parts and significant contamination that had nothing to do with the gasoline spill. Rumor has it that the property is covered with buried solid wastes from these historic practices.

Posted by Kenneth Pike

Anonymous said...

hence the industry to which you currently subscribe! Instead of registering chemical purchases and tracking disposal, maybe we should be keeping track of people with excavation equipment. (Not serious) The size of the property doesn't seem to matter either, I pulled a tank at a smal repair facility and ended up finding buried drums and other tanks with "varios" typse of fluids and sludges underlying most of the property. The prop was barely big enough to get the backhoe inside to dig.
Posted by Robert Eidson