Top tips to avoid buying property at risk of flooding

Published: 12/06/2013

With many of us finally enjoying some long overdue sunshine the idea of flooding understandably swims to the back of our minds. However with the Environmental Agency estimating that one in six properties in England are at risk of flooding, it is essential anyone buying a property investigates the potential risks.

It is easy to see why people believe as long as a property is not in the vicinity of a river or the sea then it is not at risk of flooding. Flooding, however, can occur for reasons other than overflowing rivers or coasts including an overworked drainage system and sewer flooding caused by a simple blockage.

There are many ways to evaluate the flood risk of a property:

  • Environmental Agency Flood Map
    You can enter the postcode of the property you are thinking of buying in the Environmental Agency flood map and it will highlight any flooding risks from rivers and the sea in that area.
  • Land Registry Flood Risk Indictor
    In addition to the Environmental Agency Flood Map, you can purchase the Land Registry Flood Risk Indictor which combines data from both the Land Registry and the Environmental Agency Flood Map and again reveals the risk of flooding caused by rivers and the sea.
  • An inspector calls
    We recommend anyone buying property has a full survey carried out (Be aware a lender valuation is not the same as a thorough survey). A professional surveyor should be able to spot if the property has ever been subjected to previous flood damage.
  • It’s good to talk
    While the seller is unlikely to be forthcoming about any previous flooding - trying to sell a property at risk of flooding is incredibly difficult - there are other people who could provide this valuable information from neighbours to nearby shops or cafes.
  • Bring in the specialists
    You can commission a full flood risk survey of the property. This will not only access the flood risk of the property but also the measures to take to minimise the potential damage.

Unlike many conveyancers, we automatically run an environmental search on your property.

If we discover the property is within the vicinity of a floodplain, we’ll then order a flood risk report. We’ll supply you with a copy and advise you send it on to your insurer to be confident you can adequately insure the property.

If you are buying a property and unsure if it is a flood risk we can help. Get a free online quote for our conveyancing services including all search costs

Content correct at time of publication

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