Flooding – is your property at risk?

4th February 2014

Flooding – is your property at risk?

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There are several reasons why flooding can occur, including the headline grabbing swollen rivers and tidal surges but also surface water flooding can be an issue for many properties.

When acting in connection with a purchase, the property team at Gotelee will conduct all necessary searches and make enquiries of the seller. Pat Smith, based at Gotelee’s Hadleigh office, comments: “We also advise our buyer client to instruct their valuer or surveyor to provide advice on the impact of flood risk for the property. Before committing to a purchase, a buyer should also ensure that they can obtain suitable buildings and contents insurance on acceptable terms, and I encourage them to do this prior to exchange of contracts when they become legally bound to buy the property”

The Environment Agency has produced a flood map which provides information on flooding which includes information such as flooding from rivers or the sea without defences, the extent of extreme flooding, flood defences, main rivers and areas benefiting from flood defences.   It is designed to increase awareness among the public, local authorities and other organisations and to encourage the public to find out more and to take appropriate action if they live in an area prone to flooding.

It should be noted that the flood map does not give information about a specific property or show flooding from other sources such as groundwater or surface water flooding, or overflowing sewers all of which can impact on your enjoyment of a property.

It is estimated that 1 in 6 homes are at risk and the flood map shows the areas affected – dark blue being the higher risk and light blue the lower risk. DEFRA have produced a guide for those people experiencing difficulties in obtaining flood insurance.

It is good to see that an agreement has been reached between the Association of British Insurers and the Government which it is hoped will guarantee affordable flood insurance for people in high risk areas (although this is not yet in force).  It will not, however, cover homes built after 1 January 2009 and will not cover large scale flood loss above a 1 in 200 year probability.

Please speak to our property team if we can help you with your property purchase and your concerns about the risk of flooding. We can be contacted at Hadleigh office on 01473 822102 and at Ipswich office on 01473 211121.

“Image courtesy of [khuruzero] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

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