Shopping for a home in a flood threat space

Though most properties within the UK usually are not prone to flooding, hundreds of thousands are, even in areas that aren’t instantly waterside.

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

It is vital for owners 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 threat space.

What are the primary causes of flooding?

The most typical explanation for flooding is rivers bursting their banks after durations of heavy rain. In coastal areas, unusually excessive tides additionally current an apparent threat. However even in areas that aren’t close to the ocean or a river, there’s a threat of so-called ‘floor water flooding’, usually attributable to the form 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 may assume. The Setting Company has calculated that round one in six properties within the UK is at some threat 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 threat space?

The best strategy to discover out if a home is in a flood threat space is to go to the government website and enter the postcode of the realm wherein you have an interest. Areas are graded for flood threat, 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 once in a while so it’s good to get data from different sources, e.g. native property brokers or, if you’re shopping for, the proprietor of the property. Your conveyancing solicitor may even have to be on the ball.

What are the implications for my dwelling insurance coverage?

Appreciable, significantly if a property has been flooded up to now or is in an space of excessive threat. When procuring round for insurance coverage, you need to be armed with as a lot data as doable, with the intention 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 Setting Company, confirming the flood threat degree related to the property. This may even stand you in good stead together with your mortgage-lender, who will wish to fulfill themselves that the property is insurable.

You also needs to try Flood Re, a particular scheme lately established by the Affiliation of British Insurers, aimed to profit owners at vital flood threat by capping premiums. The scheme affords a useful backstop within the case of properties which have had multiple episode of flooding and may beforehand have develop into 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 threat. 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 also needs to contemplate investing in measures (see beneath) to comprise the harm attributable to flooding if the worst involves the worst. In areas which flood usually, 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 owners take?

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

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

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 produce them with related particulars, reminiscent of previous flood harm, the price of repairing it and any knock-on affect on insurance coverage premiums. Preserve written flood-related data, as you’d preserve previous fuel and electrical energy payments, and many others.

Tens of millions of Britons stay in areas which can be at some threat of flooding. They could 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 isn’t a purpose for them to really feel on the mercy of the weather. Shopping for a home in a flood threat space ought to actually not be considered an entire no-no.

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