Minimise the risk of buying a flood risk property

Published: 22/02/2016

With latest figures showing 10,000 new build homes are built on floodplains, combined with the devastation witnessed at the end of last year, the risk of flooding is now a primary concern when it comes to buying a property. Lynne McCaffrey, Head of Property at Goldsmith Williams, is here with some tips to minimising the risk of buying a flood-risk property.

“I don’t think anyone can forget the heart breaking images of the flooding in Cumbria and northern England at the end of last year. The prospect of losing your home, your business is utterly devastating and thankful not something the majority of us will ever have to experience.

“However there can be no denying these disasters are becoming more frequent. Call it what you will, global warming, whatever, there doesn’t seem to be a year go by when parts of the UK haven’t been severely affected by flooding so it’s essential everything is being done to limit and even prevent any further destruction.

“One area which has been touched upon is transforming our approach to. Ten thousand new build homes are built on floodplains each year, translating to one in every 14 properties having a significant chance of flooding, either from a river or by the sea.

“According to experts technology is available which would enable properties to rise and fall with the flood water. Sounds like something out a Transformers movie to me and, needless to say, this technology is a long way from becoming commonplace. This is why it is vital homebuyers fully evaluate the flood risk of a property before committing to buy.

“There are several things a buyer can do to check the flood risk of a property including searching for the property in the Environment Agency’s Flood Map, purchasing a Land Registry Flood Risk Indicator and commissioning a flood risk survey. It’s also a great idea to talk to local businesses such as shops, post offices and cafes to get an understanding of the area’s history.

“Your choice of conveyancing can also significantly reduce the risk of buying a flood risk property. Unlike many conveyancers, Goldsmith Williams automatically run an environmental search on the property. If we discover it is within the vicinity of a floodplain, we’ll then order a flood risk report. We’ll send you a copy of the report so you are fully informed being continuing with your purchase. It’s also a good idea to send a copy of the report to your insurer to ensure you can adequately insure the property.

“When it comes to property, being left high and dry is definitely the better option.”

Content correct at time of publication.

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