Shopping for a home in a flood danger space

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 owners mopping up their basements, the pure human response is to assume, ‘That would have been me.’

It can be crucial 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 danger space.

What are the primary 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 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 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 test if a property is in a flood danger space?

The best technique 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 wherein 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 aware that flood maps can change every now and then 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 even must be on the ball.

What are the implications for my dwelling insurance coverage?

Appreciable, significantly if a property has been flooded prior to now or is in an space of excessive danger. When purchasing round for insurance coverage, you need to be armed with as a lot info as doable, to be able 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 degree related to the property. This may even stand you in good stead along with your mortgage-lender, who will need to fulfill themselves that the property is insurable.

You must also take a look at Flood Re, a particular scheme just lately established by the Affiliation of British Insurers, aimed to learn owners 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 out to be uninsurable.

What further 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 danger. They are often irksome however in case you 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 contemplate investing in measures (see under) to comprise the harm attributable to flooding if the worst involves the worst. In areas which flood commonly, 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 a substitute. One other trick which may 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, fairly than at flooring degree. Becoming non-return valves in drains is usually a helpful defence in opposition to flash floods. Final however not least, flood-proof your valuables: in case you 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 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 is advisable be able to provide 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 maintain outdated gasoline and electrical energy payments, and so forth.

Thousands and thousands of Britons dwell in areas which are at some danger of flooding. They could have a couple 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 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 considered a whole no-no.

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