Your business is successful, and you employ numerous people from the nearby community. Although you think of your business as a net benefit to the local community, not everyone nearby may share the same opinion.
There are likely a handful of neighborhoods in close proximity to your business, and the residential properties in these neighborhoods may feel a direct impact from how businesses affect the local environment.
Neighboring households may notice a negative change in their home values that they attribute to your business’s operations, especially when a business operates in certain industries. Some industries can have a negative impact on nearby property values. If your business affects the local environment, can homeowners band together and sue your business for their dropping property values?
In some cases, depreciation claims lead to business losses
If your company does its best to comply with environmental regulations, local homeowners may have a difficult time asking you for financial compensation for the depreciation of their property values. However, if your business has faced multiple citations for environmental infractions, they may have a stronger case.
When there are government records showing that your business has contributed to issues with the local water or with air quality, homeowners may use those environmental citations as grounds for a lawsuit against the business. Defending your company against depreciation claims may require professional help. Successful claims could push up your insurance premiums or even directly impact your company’s solvency.
Avoiding such claims is a better option than hoping people never try to hold you accountable for environmental damage. Compliance with environmental laws might protect you from claims by local homeowners in the future.