September 24, 2023


I Believe in Real Estate

Shopping for a home in a flood danger space

4 min read

Though most properties within the UK usually are not vulnerable to flooding, tens of millions are, even in areas that aren’t instantly waterside.

When elements of the nation are devastated by floods and the information is dominated by footage of unlucky householders mopping up their basements, the pure human response is to assume, ‘That would have been me.’

It can be crucial for householders and house-hunters alike to grasp the fundamentals about flooding and the related dangers. This straightforward step-by-step information is designed to assist these shopping for a home in a flood danger space.

What are the principle causes of flooding?

The most typical explanation for flooding is rivers bursting their banks after intervals of heavy rain. In coastal areas, unusually excessive tides additionally current an apparent danger. However even in areas that aren’t close to the ocean or a river, there’s a danger of so-called ‘floor water flooding’, sometimes attributable to the kind of flash floods that comply with thunderstorms. One other, rarer, phenomenon is groundwater flooding, when the water desk rises, and water begins to seep into basements and cellars.

How prevalent is the issue?

Extra prevalent than you would possibly assume. The Surroundings Company has calculated that round one in six properties within the UK is at some danger of flooding. Some low-lying areas have lengthy been recognized as flood plains, experiencing flooding at common intervals, and though new constructing on flood plains is discouraged, it nonetheless takes place in some areas.

How do I examine if a property is in a flood danger space?

The only solution to discover out if a home is in a flood danger space is to go to the government website and enter the postcode of the world by which you have an interest. Areas are graded for flood danger, from ‘excessive’ to ‘very low’, often relying on their proximity to rivers and the earlier historical past of flooding within the space. However be conscious that flood maps can change sometimes so it’s good to get info from different sources, e.g. native property brokers or, if you’re shopping for, the proprietor of the property. Your conveyancing solicitor may also should be on the ball.

What are the implications for my house insurance coverage?

Appreciable, notably if a property has been flooded up to now or is in an space of excessive danger. When purchasing round for insurance coverage, you have to be armed with as a lot info as attainable, so to get an inexpensive deal. Some insurers will ask for an Insurance coverage Associated Request Letter, requiring you to get a proper letter from the Surroundings Company, confirming the flood danger stage related to the property. This may also stand you in good stead along with your mortgage-lender, who will wish to fulfill themselves that the property is insurable.

You must also try Flood Re, a particular scheme just lately established by the Affiliation of British Insurers, aimed to learn householders at important flood danger by capping premiums. The scheme provides a useful backstop within the case of properties which have had a couple of episode of flooding and would possibly beforehand have turn into uninsurable.

What additional prices ought to I anticipate to incur?

The obvious one is the upper insurance coverage premiums which you’ll anticipate to pay in an space of excessive flood danger. They are often irksome however if you happen to keep in mind that you’ll most likely pay considerably much less for the property due to its at-risk standing, you’ll not essentially be worse off in the long term.

You must also think about investing in measures (see under) to comprise the injury attributable to flooding if the worst involves the worst. In areas which flood repeatedly, it’s a good suggestion to buy a provide of sandbags and different flood guards to stop a last-minute scramble.

What preventative measures can householders take?

Given the havoc wreaked on carpets by flooding it’s common sense to not carpet any clearly at-risk rooms corresponding to basements, utilizing tiles or wood floors as an alternative. One other trick which may prevent some huge cash within the occasion of flooding is ensuring that energy factors situated in at-risk rooms are situated excessive up on the partitions, reasonably than at ground stage. Becoming non-return valves in drains generally is a helpful defence towards flash floods. Final however not least, flood-proof your valuables: if you happen to personal a priceless Picasso, maintain it within the attic, not the cellar.

If I’m promoting a home in a flood danger space, what authorized obligations am I below?

The primary one is to be upfront with patrons about any earlier historical past of flooding within the property. If the house is in an space in danger, they’re entitled to ask about flooding episodes up to now and it’s essential to be able to provide them with related particulars, corresponding to previous flood injury, the price of repairing it and any knock-on affect on insurance coverage premiums. Preserve written flood-related data, as you’ll maintain outdated fuel and electrical energy payments, and so on.

Hundreds of thousands of Britons stay in areas which can be at some danger of flooding. They might have a number of extra sleepless nights than individuals who stay on excessive floor but when they assessed the dangers and took acceptable steps to handle these dangers, there is no such thing as a motive for them to really feel on the mercy of the weather. Shopping for a home in a flood danger space ought to definitely not be thought to be a whole no-no.

Content material offered by is for info functions solely. Unbiased {and professional} recommendation needs to be taken earlier than shopping for, promoting, letting or renting property, or shopping for monetary merchandise.

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