Property Transfer Due Diligence
We have completed hundreds of Real Estate Site Evaluations for clients who wish to buy, sell, or transfer properties. Prior to buying or developing a property, it is important to identify any potential risks, since under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), a buyer, lessor, or lender may be held responsible for remediation on a property, even if a prior owner caused the initial contamination. All Property Transfer Evaluations are conducted pursuant to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. The goal of the site assessments is to identify environmental conditions in connection with the property, to the extent feasible, which may pose a future environmental liability. Our work includes ASTM Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, Environmental Liability Appraisals, Environmental Transaction Screens, Feasibility and Cost-Benefit Analyses, Historical and Regulatory Reviews (current and past site activities), Conservation Easement Documentation, and detailed Site Characterization and Remediation. VESTRA has conducted these for commercial, multi-residential, industrial, and agricultural properties ranging in size from less than one acre to over 30,000 acres. One of our areas of specialization is working with large rural properties.
An increasing trend in rural land management is the initiation of Conservation Easements and the development of Mitigation Banks. Most Conservation Easements require a Remoteness Determination/Mineral Assessment Report. The purpose of this type of study is to determine if the property is in accordance with Federal laws governing the tax deductibility of Conservation Easements in which the ownership of the surface estate and mineral interests has been separated. Internal Revenue Code § 170(h)(5)(B)(ii) states that, for such donations, the conservation purpose will be considered to be perpetually protected if the probability of surface mining on the property is so remote as to be negligible. Federal Treasury Regulations 26 CFR 1.170A-14(g)(4) further state that a deduction will not be denied in the case of certain methods of mining that may have limited localized impact on the real property but that are not irremediably destructive of significant conservation interests.
Our goal is to save our clients time and money, conducting investigations and assessments in a cost-effective manner that fulfills all requirements for the property transfer.