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Reader poll: Agents against highlighting climate risks on property purchases

An Estate Agent Today reader poll has revealed opposition to climate risks being outlined to buyers when purchasing a property.

A poll on the Estate Agent Today Linkedin page earlier this month asked followers if property buyers should be warned about climate risks.

Only 35% said yes and 65% said no, with users commenting that it is a step too far.


Agents are already expected to include material information on listings such as the tenure, price and council tax details while other information such as restrictive covenants are set to be included next year.

There is no suggestion that climate risks will be treated as material information in listings but it comes as Stephen Tromans QC, the leading practitioner in environmental law in the UK, issued a legal opinion that said solicitors and licenced conveyancers owe a duty to clients to provide warnings and advice on risks that may adversely affect a property being purchased.

His summary highlights two types of climate change risks that property purchasers should be made aware of, physical and transitional.

Physical risks are described as “future damage by surface water flooding from extreme storm events, sea level rise and coastal erosion, and subsidence from extreme heat.”

Tromans said: “These impacts are set to worsen in scale and frequency in the coming years, and may result in costs and damage to property, devaluation of property, and at worst complete loss of property and associated risk to life.

“Transition risks are described as changes in regulations as part of the move to a low carbon economy that may alter market practices of insurers and lenders and ultimately the attitudes of more informed and risk averse purchasers “resulting in reduced market values.”


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