Though most properties within the UK should not prone to flooding, thousands and thousands are, even in areas that aren’t instantly waterside.
When components of the nation are devastated by floods and the information is dominated by photos of unlucky householders mopping up their basements, the pure human response is to suppose, ‘That would have been me.’
It is vital for householders and house-hunters alike to know 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 commonest 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 observe 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 suppose. 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 test if a property is in a flood danger space?
The only strategy 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 realm by which you have an interest. Areas are graded for flood danger, from ‘excessive’ to ‘very low’, normally relying on their proximity to rivers and the earlier historical past of flooding within the space. However be aware that flood maps can change sometimes so it’s good to get info from different sources, e.g. native property brokers or, in case you are shopping for, the proprietor of the property. Your conveyancing solicitor can even should be on the ball.
What are the implications for my residence insurance coverage?
Appreciable, notably if a property has been flooded prior to now or is in an space of excessive danger. When purchasing round for insurance coverage, try to be armed with as a lot info as doable, so to get an affordable 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 can even stand you in good stead together with your mortgage-lender, who will wish to fulfill themselves that the property is insurable.
You must also try Flood Re, a particular scheme lately established by the Affiliation of British Insurers, aimed to profit householders at important flood danger by capping premiums. The scheme gives a useful backstop within the case of properties which have had multiple episode of flooding and would possibly beforehand have turn out to be uninsurable.
What additional prices ought to I anticipate to incur?
The obvious one is the upper insurance coverage premiums which you’ll be able to anticipate to pay in an space of excessive flood danger. They are often irksome however in case you 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 contemplate investing in measures (see under) to include the injury attributable to flooding if the worst involves the worst. In areas which flood frequently, it’s a good suggestion to buy a provide of sandbags and different flood guards to forestall 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 a substitute. 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, quite than at flooring stage. Becoming non-return valves in drains generally is a helpful defence towards flash floods. Final however not least, flood-proof your valuables: in case you personal a priceless Picasso, preserve it within the attic, not the cellar.
If I’m promoting a home in a flood danger space, what authorized obligations am I beneath?
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 prior to now and it’s good 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’d preserve outdated fuel and electrical energy payments, and many others.
Hundreds of thousands of Britons dwell in areas which are at some danger of flooding. They might have a number of extra sleepless nights than individuals who dwell on excessive floor but when they assessed the dangers and took applicable steps to handle these dangers, there isn’t any motive for them to really feel on the mercy of the weather. Shopping for a home in a flood danger space ought to actually not be thought to be a whole no-no.