Shopping for a home in a flood threat space

Though most properties within the UK aren’t susceptible 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 suppose, ‘That would have been me.’

It will be significant 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 threat space.

What are the principle causes of flooding?

The commonest reason for flooding is rivers bursting their banks after intervals 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 brought on by the type 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 may suppose. The Surroundings 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 verify if a property is in a flood threat space?

The only approach 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 world through which 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 info from different sources, e.g. native property brokers or, in case you are shopping for, the proprietor of the property. Your conveyancing solicitor may even must be on the ball.

What are the implications for my house insurance coverage?

Appreciable, significantly if a property has been flooded up to now or is in an space of excessive threat. When buying round for insurance coverage, you need to be armed with as a lot info as potential, 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 Surroundings Company, confirming the flood threat stage 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 must also take a look at Flood Re, a particular scheme not too long ago established by the Affiliation of British Insurers, aimed to profit householders at important flood threat by capping premiums. The scheme provides a useful backstop within the case of properties which have had a couple of episode of flooding and may beforehand have turn out to be uninsurable.

What additional prices ought to I count on to incur?

The obvious one is the upper insurance coverage premiums which you’ll be able to count on to pay in an space of excessive flood threat. They are often irksome however if you happen to keep in mind that you’ll in all probability 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 take into account investing in measures (see beneath) to include the harm brought on by 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 is not uncommon sense to not carpet any clearly at-risk rooms akin to basements, utilizing tiles or wooden floors as a substitute. One other trick which might 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 could be a helpful defence towards flash floods. Final however not least, flood-proof your valuables: if you happen to personal a priceless Picasso, hold it within the attic, not the cellar.

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

The principle 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 be ready to provide them with related particulars, akin to previous flood harm, the price of repairing it and any knock-on influence on insurance coverage premiums. Preserve written flood-related information, as you’ll hold previous fuel and electrical energy payments, and many others.

Tens of millions of Britons reside in areas which are at some threat of flooding. They could have a couple of extra sleepless nights than individuals who reside on excessive floor but when they assessed the dangers and took applicable steps to handle these dangers, there isn’t any cause 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 info functions solely. Impartial {and professional} recommendation needs to be taken earlier than shopping for, promoting, letting or renting property, or shopping for monetary merchandise.