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With the risk of flooding becoming an increasing problem for property owners, the importance of carrying out a flood risk search should not be overlooked when purchasing a new property.

During the usual conveyancing process your conveyancer will carry out an environmental search at the property. This will identify whether the property is at risk of either coastal, river, groundwater or surface water flooding. If the report identities a flood risk at the property then this will prompt your conveyancer to raise further enquiries with your seller to find out whether they have experienced any issues with flooding during their ownership. A separate flood report is also available to purchase which looks into the risk of flooding in further detail.

Carrying out works to remedy physical damage caused to a property by flooding can be very costly and the property may be uninhabitable for a significant period of time whilst works are ongoing. Buildings insurance may be unavailable for the property or may be subject to high excesses. You should make enquiries with your proposed insurer before exchange of contracts to establish as to whether an acceptable insurance policy can be obtained.

In an effort to combat rising insurance claims caused by flooding, the government has introduced the Flood Re Scheme. Every insurer that offers home insurance in the UK must pay into the scheme which in turn raises £180m every year. In addition to this, insurers can opt to pass the flood risk to the scheme for a fixed price. If a valid claim is made in respect of flooding then the Flood Re Scheme reimburses the insurer for the costs incurred.

If you are obtaining a mortgage then your conveyancer will need to report the risk of flooding to your lender and this may affect their decision to lend. A risk of flooding may also have a negative impact on the value of the property and may affect the ability to sell the property in the future.

Your conveyancer is unable to provide expert advice on the contents of the report, therefore it is important that you carefully consider the results of the flood search, carrying out any further investigations if required, to ensure that you are comfortable to proceed with your purchase.

The risk from flooding can also apply to flats as well as houses. Although a seventh floor flat will not suffer from flooding, the building itself can be significantly damaged by flooding and this can have a negative impact on the higher floors.

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Contact us today to find out how we can help, or to ask us about our conveyancing fees, by calling 0808 1685 643, fill out an online enquiry form, or email getmoving@ramsdens.co.uk and we will be in touch.