If you’re a tenant with a higher risk of causing environmental damage—such as a dry cleaner—than a traditional retailer, you’ll have to follow specific guidelines and be subject to certain environmental laws that other tenants aren’t. But allowing the owner of the property to keep these laws vague by refusing to name them in the lease could expand requirements that don’t actually apply to you.
Some leases don’t specifically name certain laws the tenant must comply with. Be very careful when allowing the owner to make blanket statements in your lease about which types of laws you must comply with, for example, “Tenant shall not violate any federal, state, or local environmental laws.”
By specifying the laws—for example, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)—and it’s later replaced by a new law that changes or minimizes your obligations, you’ll have the flexibility to act accordingly. Ask you attorney about using this language in your lease:
Model Lease Language
Tenant shall not violate the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).