Shopping for a home in a flood danger space

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

It is crucial 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 reason behind flooding is rivers bursting their banks after durations 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 assume. The Setting 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 verify if a property is in a flood danger space?

The only technique to discover out if a home is in a flood danger space is to go to the federal government web site and enter the postcode of the world during 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 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 also have to be on the ball.

What are the implications for my house insurance coverage?

Appreciable, significantly if a property has been flooded previously or is in an space of excessive danger. When buying round for insurance coverage, try to be armed with as a lot info as doable, so as 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 danger degree related to the property. This may also stand you in good stead along with your mortgage-lender, who will need 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 profit householders at important flood danger by capping premiums. The scheme gives a useful backstop within the case of properties which have had a couple of episode of flooding and would possibly beforehand have turn out to be uninsurable.

What further 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 for those who 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 think about investing in measures (see beneath) 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 stop 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 reminiscent of 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, moderately than at flooring degree. Becoming non-return valves in drains could be a helpful defence in opposition to flash floods. Final however not least, flood-proof your valuables: for those who personal a priceless Picasso, hold 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 consumers 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 previously and you must be ready to produce them with related particulars, reminiscent of previous flood injury, the price of repairing it and any knock-on influence on insurance coverage premiums. Preserve written flood-related information, as you’d hold outdated gasoline and electrical energy payments, and many others.

Thousands and thousands of Britons stay in areas which might be at some danger of flooding. They might have just a few extra sleepless nights than individuals who stay on excessive floor but when they assessed the dangers and took applicable steps to handle these dangers, there is no such thing as a cause 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 an entire no-no.

Content material supplied 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.