14/04/2016

Due to the rising incidence of flooding in the UK people have become increasingly conscious of the potential risk when they are choosing to buy or take a lease of a property.  When considering your new property, there are so many factors to take into account, size, location, price to name but a few.  There is one check that must not be forgotten, ‘is it located on a flood plain?’  To identify if the property is at risk there are some checks that you can do:

  • use flood risk maps – this is perhaps the quickest and easiest method of checking, The Environmental Agency maintain a detailed flood risk map.
  • speak to the locals – speak with the owners of neighbouring properties to find out if there have been any problems with flooding in the past
  • Consider having a building survey – as part of this, the surveyor should look for evidence of flooding
  • consult a flood risk consultant – as a final resort, if after checking the maps and speaking to the locals you still have further questions it would be worth hiring the assistance of a specialist flood risk consultant

If you believe a property that you want to rent or lease is in a flood risk area, questions that should be asked of the landlord are:

  • has the property got a history of flooding?
  • has any damage been caused to the property by flooding?
  • who will be responsible for the repair of and payment in relation to of any flood damage?

It is important that the possible impact of flooding is considered in relation to the following aspects of property transactions:

  • negotiating and agreeing the deal to ensure that the ramifications and responsibilities are dealt with should flooding occur
  • points to be raised with insurers before cover is taken out
  • mortgage provider requirements relating to flooding
  • the cost of repair of any flood damage
  • replacement of goods and equipment damaged by the flood
  • the possible need to relocate to alternative premises whether on a temporary or more permanent basis should flooding occur

Sadly, the recent floods have caused devastation across the country with hundreds of properties being affected – and whilst the above safety measures seek to minimise the chances that you never fall victim to mother nature – the reality is that you can never guarantee you will not be affected by flooding.

The commercial property team at Beswicks Legal have the expertise and experience to work with you when considering a property lease or purchase that may be affected by flooding, if you would like any advice or assistance please contact 01782 205000 or enquiry@beswicks.com