Heather Gaffney, from Lewis Denley solicitors has supplied her expertise on how to make sure your investments in housing aren’t uprooted down the line by volatile climates.

As climate change becomes ever more of a pressing issue across all sectors, it’s vital to factor climate change into any serious financial decisions. This is especially important when it comes to the housing market, and any well-informed decision in terms of purchasing a home will account for possible climate concerns going forwards. 

Coastal properties at risk of flooding

One of the largest concerns when it comes to climate change is the erosion and flooding of coastal areas, presenting an evident threat to any area near the sealine. When considering coastal properties, it’s paramount that you make sure the property is resilient to encroaching waves and isn’t in danger of being flooded.

According to projections by Climate Central, numerous coastal areas in Britain will be affected by flooding and possibly become fully submerged by 2050, including Burnham in Devon, Dungeness in Kent and much of Lincolnshire. Since 1900 Britain’s sea levels have risen by 15cm, but the Met Office predicts that increasing climate change could see the sea level rise by more than a metre by 2100, a concerning prospect for coastal areas around the UK.

Gaining a clear understanding of the legal nuances of floodplain regulations, insurance coverage, and liabilities in case of climate-related damages is crucial. Legal experts can guide you through the intricacies, ensuring your investment is protected against unforeseen natural disasters.

Impact on property values and Insurance costs

Looking to the future, climate related issues are one of the most significant factors in effecting a property’s value, and when making serious financial decisions such as investing in a property, the effects of climate change down the line must be considered.

Areas prone to flooding or extreme weather events may experience a decline in value due to higher insurance premiums and potential damages. Savvy buyers are considering not just the present value of a property but also its future worth in the face of climate-related challenges.

Energy efficiency

Any potential homeowner who is surveying the market and looking to invest in a property will be aware of the ever-growing importance of energy efficiency when it comes to homes. This focus on eco-friendly homes is not expected to lessen any time soon, and the government is continuing to implement ever more standards and incentives to further the eco-agenda.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are becoming increasingly vital, indicating a property’s energy efficiency. Investing in a home with a high EPC rating can translate into lower utility bills, reduced carbon footprint, and potentially higher resale value.

To highlight the importance of a solid EPC rating, at present a property cannot be rented out if the Energy Efficiency band is E or below.  All new tenancies must have an EPC rating of C (or better) by 2025.

Futureproofing your investment

It’s not enough anymore to simply assess a property on its current value, to make a savvy investment it’s crucial to consider the adaptability of a property and how it can keep up with changing environmental standards. Does the property incorporate efficient insulation? Could it be able to accommodate solar panels or other technology to increase its energy efficiency?

There are also environmental challenges to consider, does it have proper drainage systems to handle heavy rainfall? Is it designed to endure extreme heat or cold?

A team of lawyers’ adept in property law will develop contracts that account for climate change contingencies. This includes clauses addressing responsibilities in case of climate-related damages, insurance obligations, and potential renegotiations based on unforeseen climate events.

Ethical responsibilities

Buying a home in the era of climate change is also a matter of ethical responsibility. Choosing energy-efficient properties, adopting sustainable practices, and supporting eco-friendly communities contribute to a collective effort to combat climate change.

By making environmentally conscious choices, you’re not only protecting your investment but also actively participating in the global fight against climate crisis.