Could London buyers demand a pollution discount on property?

Londoners spent last Sunday freely walking, running and cycling on more than 200 car-free roads last weekend as part of the capital’s Car Free Day event.

The annual event aims to give millions of residents the opportunity to experience a day without heavy air pollution and to appreciate London’s green spaces.

With pollution levels in some part of the capital at illegal levels, the imperative from the Mayor’s office is to improve air quality and eliminate the pollution hotspots blighting the lives of residents.

Website reveals air quality

Now home buyers are being offered the chance to find out if the area they intend to buy in is suffering from air pollution – and if it is, negotiate a discount on price.

Using data from King’s College London, www.addresspollution.org offers an air quality report for every postcode in London based on nitrogen dioxide readings, revealing if pollution levels exceed legal limits and giving each neighbourhood a score out of five.

The website has been established as a registered community interest, not-for-profit company that runs campaigns for people and the planet.

Its aim is to give users a report they can use to lobby local councils and MPs to demand improvement on pollution levels locally and nationally.

Negative effects on health

According to its research, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Londoners think property for sale in areas with heavy pollution should be sold or rented at a discounted price because of the negative effects on people’s health.

Almost six in 10 of those who were questioned said they’d think about withdrawing their offer on a property if they discovered it was situated in an area with illegal air pollution limits that breach World Health Organisation levels.

Change perceptions

Humphrey Milles, the organisation’s founder, said: “Air pollution is killing people across the country and London is worst hit, but people don’t believe it will affect them personally.

“The air quality rating is a tool to change these perceptions and show just how real, and dangerous, air pollution is across the capital, including in some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods.”

About the Author Frances Traynor

Fran is the content writer for Capital Conveyancing, producing articles on all aspects of the conveyancing process and around the UK property market in general. If there is a topic you'd like to see covered on these pages, please drop Fran a line on [email protected]