A Washington state law (S.B. 6749) requires the disclosure of a wide range of “environmental conditions” to prospective buyers of commercial real estate. The law, effective June 10, 2010, requires sellers to complete a disclosure form with detailed questions concerning past environmental conditions before closing a commercial property transaction. Each question requires the seller to state, based on the seller’s actual knowledge at the time of disclosure, whether the answer to the question is “yes,” “no” or “don’t know.” Any questions that are answered “yes” require additional information.
Among the questions are whether the property (i) has been affected by flooding, standing water or drainage problems; (ii) has been materially damaged from fire, wind, floods, beach movements, earthquake, expansive soil, or landslides; (iii) contains any shorelines, wetlands, floodplains, or critical areas; (iv) contains any substances such as asbestos, formaldehyde, radon, lead-based paint, fuel or chemical storage tanks, or contaminated soil or water that may be of environmental concern; (v) has any soil or groundwater contamination; (vi) has been used as a legal or illegal dumping site; and (vii) has been used for illegal drug manufacture. Sellers must also disclose “. . . any other existing material defects affecting the property that a prospective buyer should know about.”