What Can You Do About A Flood Risk?
Posted on 20th April 2020
Where will I find flood risk information about my property?
Your conveyancing searches allow for your property solicitor to investigate potential environmental risks to the property you intend to purchase. They do, of course, explore many other important items for consideration. See our Preston solicitors’ blog on the importance of conveyancing searches, here.
The environmental search is that which specifically assesses the potential flood risks at the property and surrounding area, and looks at the same in terms of ground water, surface water, past flooding, river and coastal flooding and flood storage areas.
The search will note an overall rating of a potential risk which can fall from low and negligible to high and significant. Where a potential risk is identified, the search goes on to discuss the same via a flood map which specifically notes the area(s) affected, and why, allowing for both informative and visual advice in this regard.
The searches undertaken by our Preston solicitors also provide a useful feature called ‘Flood Score’, supplied by Ambiental Analytics. This feature, essentially, is a way of indexing the potential flood risks at the property, as per the data within the search result.
So, a risk of flooding has been revealed, what are your options?
The search results provide the information as to the potential risk of flooding and, following this, it is down to your Preston solicitors to report to you on the same, and what options you have. These include:
- Further Investigation: You may decide to have further investigation carried out in this regard. Your solicitors in Preston can instruct the search providers to carry out a further assessment, known as a ‘Flood Risk Assessment’. As it says on the tin, this would allow a further search to be carried out which reports specifically on the potential flooding at the property. Should this be something you require, discuss the matter with your conveyancing solicitor, who can apply for the same as soon as possible.
- Insurance: Prior to Completion of your purchase, you should ensure that your insurers will proceed on normal terms, given that a potential risk has been revealed. You should also ensure that premiums are fully understood before proceeding. The insurance is in place, not only for yourself and for protection against such risks, but for the benefit of your lender, who’s interest on the policy should be noted accordingly. You should forward a copy of your proposed insurance schedule to your property solicitor in Preston, prior to Completion, in order that they may confirm the arrangements to your lender, where applicable.
- Flood Re-Insurance Scheme: In addition to the above, you can follow the below link, where you can check the eligibility of the property to be covered by the Flood Re-Insurance Scheme. The scheme provides an avenue of insurance for properties at risk of flooding and aims to provide the same at more affordable rates. In addition, there is advice on how to action flood risk, all of which may be useful to properties at risk. More information can be found here.
- GOV.uk advice: See the GOV.uk website, in which further flood guidance can be provided, specific to the particular property. The tool allows a specific property to be enquired against, to assess an area’s long-term risk from flooding. The site also allows for tips on managing flood risk to reduce the risk the same may pose to the property.
- Enquiries of your Conveyancing Solicitor: Should a risk be identified, or concerns be raised in respect of flooding, your Preston solicitors can reflect the same within the enquiries raised with the seller’s solicitor. See our blog on pre-contract enquiries, and their importance to your conveyance, here. The enquiries can raise specific items, in terms of flooding, such as:
(a) Has the seller experienced any issues with flooding in the past and has the property flooded during their ownership?
(b) Has the risk of flooding resulted in increased insurance premiums for the seller?
(c) Are there any flood prevention measures in place?
The above are some examples of the queries that can be raised to gather further information on the potential flood risk at the property.
- Protocol Forms: The Property Information Form, completed by the seller also addresses the risk of flooding and requires the seller to confirm whether there has been a flood risk assessment carried out at the property, whether the same has been subject to flooding before and, if so, what type of flooding. You should look to Section 7 of the Form, which details this matter. A specimen copy of the Form can be viewed here.
- Prevention Measures: You should also consider whether, at present, there is any protection in place at, or in the vicinity of, the property from flooding, such as flood barriers. It may be the case that you also consider implementing your own prevention measures to ensure you are protected.
The above outline just some of the measures that can be taken when a risk of flooding at the property has been revealed. The same then allow for you to make an informed decision on how you wish to proceed with your purchase. This may be by carrying out further investigation, proceeding without further ado, or even withdrawing.
Flood risks should be considered carefully and, in any event, you may discuss your concerns with our Preston solicitors, who can advise you on the options available to you.
If, therefore, you are purchasing a property and have concerns in respect of flooding, or have any other conveyancing query, contact MG Legal’s Preston solicitors today, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our local solicitors will be on hand to assist you.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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