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Lettings bosses reveal climate change risks to industry

The Lettings Industry Council, a group of rental industry chiefs, has joined with other property professionals to reveal what they see as the risks presented to the industry by climate change.

A report coordinated by the Landmark Information Group and including Birmingham Law School, The Lettings Industry Council and JBA Risk Management, highlights the challenges professionals are facing in meeting energy efficiency requirements for homes, as well as environmental damage such as coastal erosion, flooding, and shrink-swell subsidence. 

Both risk areas will require the industry to adapt the way it works and adopt a unified process for reporting climate risks and improving the carbon footprint of homes.


According to the report, these risks will have implications for every sector across the property industry, influencing how lenders determine mortgages, and how estate agents price a property for sale or rent. It will also impact how surveyors make assessments and recommendations, and how conveyancers manage expectations to provide consumers with advice.

Some of the most imminent risks the industry will have to consider highlighted in the report are:


- In the UK the current annual damages from coastal flooding are estimated at over £500m per year with costs likely to increase under projections of sea level rises;

- JBA Risk Management also warns an estimated increase of 87 per cent in average annual losses to UK properties from flooding by 2050 if no action is taken to reduce emissions, and a further £2 billion without effective flood defences;

Coastal erosion

- The British Geological Survey has warned that the loss of land and removal of sediment along the coastline is predicted to cause a national loss of 7,258 km2 by 2050 with areas such as North Norfolk, the Yorkshire coastlines, Dorset and the Jurassic coast at particular risk;

Shrink-swell subsidence

- According to the British Geological Survey, ground movement caused by changes in rainfall and local drainage is one of the most damaging hazards, costing the economy an estimated £3 billion in the last decade;

Energy efficiency requirements

- There are demands and requirements both from government and consumers to improve energy efficiency of homes to ensure the market contributes to Net Zero. Despite targets to retrofit 60 per cent properties with better insulation by 2050 and for homes to be rated EPC C or above, the lack of a roadmap on risks these targets not being met.


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