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Climate change - Considering the global impact on property

on Wednesday, 11 October 2023.

Most of us are concerned about the global impact of climate change, and the effect ever changing weather patterns may have on our lives, both personally and professionally.

We are seeing this play out on a daily basis from extreme heatwaves to prolonged spells of cold weather and incessant rain. That is not to mention increases with storms, droughts, strong winds, fires and natural disasters. Wherever we are in the world, the shift in weather conditions is real as the earth warms and sea levels rise; climate change is here to stay!

However, have you ever considered the impact that such conditions may have on your commercial property?

Risks and impact

Whether it is a physical risk, caused by flooding, coastal erosion or natural ground subsidence which can lead to structural damage to your property, or a risk with ongoing obligations to adapt to the emerging climate regulations to make our buildings more energy efficient. These obligations may include the extension of ultra-low emission zones and evolving requirements for new properties, such as the installation of an electric charging point, no-one can deny that the landscape is changing to accommodate the effects of climate change.

What does this mean for you?

As an owner of property you will need to consider potential climate risks now and in the future, will climate change affect the value and marketability of my property? How do I keep up to date with the regulatory changes required to ensure my property is ready to deal with climate changes and is compliant on a sale or letting? There is also growing pressure from some tenants who want to occupy more 'green' properties with an increased focus on sustainability.

As a buyer or occupier of commercial property consideration will need to be given as to; can I obtain buildings insurance at a competitive price without excessive premiums, will there be wider problems such as limitations with the use and enjoyment of the property because of restrictions to developing and/or extending the property, and if planning permission is permitted will it be granted subject to onerous planning conditions. Is there a significant risk to business interruption from environmental factors based on the history and location of the property.

Searches are available with specialist search providers which are designed to highlight how climate change can impact a property. These deal with the physical risks of flooding, ground stability, heat stress and costal erosion, and also sets out the minimum requirements for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

If you are in the process of buying, selling or letting a property and would like to discuss any environmental concerns or the impact of climate change, please contact Rachel Williams in our Commercial Property team on 07384 813085, or complete the form below.

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