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How do I know if the property I am buying is at risk of flooding?

Feb 10, 2017

There are a number of different ways you can review the flood risks of a property you are considering buying. But your best bet may be to do some research into the area before you get as far as making an offer on a property.

There is a new service available on the GOV.UK website:  https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk, that allows you to enter a postcode to check how high a risk there is of flooding in that particular area.

You can view maps of the areas and its surrounds to see whether nearby areas are at risk. You can also click through to obtain detailed information about the flood risk for that area. The information will include the risks of flooding from a river or the sea and also the risk of flooding from surface water too. This information is based on data from the local authority in the area, but does not give you a specific risk for the property you want to purchase, only the postcode.  It may also help when you want to look at a specific area however, if you wish  to review the flood risks attached to a specific property, where can you  look to access this data ? 

You have a couple of options.

You can obtain the flooding history of a property from the Environment Agency by emailing them for a copy. They won’t charge you for it unless it takes them more than 18 hours to put together, when there would be a £25 charge for the report. It would take 20 days to receive the report.

Another way to obtain information about flood risk is from the Land Registry.  They have a Flood Risk Indicator, which indicates flood risk to registered land. It’s relatively cheap at only £9 plus VAT, and the data is gathered along with data from the Environment Agency.

The information includes local data which has been modelled and mapped and where there are rivers nearby, the search  includes information on the flow of the river, the surrounding area and ground surface.

If you’re buying a property near the coast, the Flood Risk Indicator will include sea levels and wave data to provide a guide to water levels and how a flood could occur.

You can also get detailed surveys completed by your conveyancer with regards to the chance of flooding at the property you want to purchase.

Purchasing a property where the risk of flooding is high will significantly increase the premiums you pay for home and contents insurance. It will also impact on your ability to sell your property in the future. Just make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision before you exchange contracts and tie yourself in.

For help and advice on conveyancing, call our experienced team on 01264 353411, via email:  conveyancing@bsandi.co.uk  or contact us online via our free, no obligation enquiry  form and we’ll be happy to help.


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