Contaminated properties, trespass, and underground rents

Andy Krause (Department of Urban Planning, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA and Greenfield Advisors, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Ron Throupe (Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, Daniels College of Business, Denver University, Denver, Colorado, USA)
John Kilpatrick (Greenfield Advisors, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Will Spiess (Greenfield Advisors, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Publication date: 20 April 2012



This paper seeks to extend the literature on property damage assessment by incorporating the right of exclusion as a compensable component to damages. The paper aims to go on to illustrate methodologies to estimate as a rent this damage component.


The authors develop a conceptual framework from which to examine the value of underground storage space with special reference to situations in which migrating contamination from commercial operations have invaded private real property. Specifically they view this invasion as a compensable violation of the right of exclusion. This underground storage analysis uses the three approaches common to traditional appraisal (income, sales and cost) to estimate the value of underground storage caused by migrating contamination.


Conceptually the paper finds that underground storage can be easily valued with existing appraisal methods. Using contamination scenarios paired with actual market data from the South‐Eastern USA, the paper shows an example of each of the three methods for valuation. It concludes by reconciling the estimated values and supply additional issues to consider when valuing underground storage.

Practical implications

Contaminated properties analysis and damages have focused on the right of transfer when estimating damages to real property. Other portions of the bundle of rights also require examination.


This is the first discussion of underground trespass in relation to contaminated property coupled with an empirical example to address the right of exclusion and estimated rents due for use of adjacent properties as a storage facility.



Krause, A., Throupe, R., Kilpatrick, J. and Spiess, W. (2012), "Contaminated properties, trespass, and underground rents", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 304-320.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.