Lenders must update climate change risk guidance, say property lawyers

An overwhelming 91% of lawyers thought lenders should update their risk search data due diligence guidance in this area, the vote came from over 200 delegates at the climate change data firm’s London Conveyancing Climate Change Conference, which heard from climate scientists, lenders, lawyers and finance policy experts in June.

Just 9% of lawyers said they were unsure if lenders needed to update these rules, while none of the property lawyers present felt strongly that lenders did not need to overhaul their guidance.

Groundsure chief executive Dan Montagnani says said: “Lenders are rightly concerned about climate impacts across their books. It makes sense that they get on the case and update the guidance in their handbooks.

“But property lawyers aren’t just looking for a steer from lenders. Solicitors want to gain comfort from the professional associations governing them, too.”

Montagnani adds that lender’s guidance must integrate with guidance from The Law Society, the professional association that represents and governs solicitors in England and Wales.

The firm also asked conveyancers if, given that new climate data is becoming more widely available, the need for a practice note on climate change risks was becoming more urgent, all of those polled agreed that it had become more urgent.