How to avoid a property that’s at risk of flooding

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February 20, 2015 | By Sarah Cookson |

February 20, 2015 | By Sarah Cookson |

As property lawyers based in York, flooding is an issue that unfortunately, we often come across. Sadly a house that’s prone to flooding can cause serious problems, especially when the buyer was unaware of the risk.

With springtime showers approaching, it is around this time of year when the Kings Arms pub in York city centre makes it’s regular appearance, under several feet of water, on the national news.

The Environment Agency estimates that one in six homes in England are at risk from flooding. It’s not just coastal or river flooding to watch out for though. There is also surface water flooding, groundwater flooding and of course sewer flooding where sewers are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall and can back up, which really doesn’t bear thinking about!

Flood risks: Consequences for home buyers

It’s not just the obvious mess, inconvenience and distress that any type of flooding causes. There are other considerations too.

Buildings insurance is one. Flooding may lead to an increase in your premiums and in some cases, a refusal of insurance companies to insure at all. There have been reports of insurance premiums increased to thousands of pounds as insurance companies seek to minimise their risks.

You may also find it difficult to sell your property and mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend. All of these things can have a negative impact on the value of your home.

How we can help

Our experienced Conveyancing lawyers will act in your best interests and will help to minimise the risks. As standard, we will make enquiries with the sellers and discover if the property has ever flooded in the past. And we always recommend that you have an Environmental Search carried out on any property that you plan to buy.

We can also carry out a specific flood search on your behalf which will give you detailed information about past flooding, the likelihood of future flooding and flood defences.

This can then enable you to make an informed decision about your future home.

For further information or advice you can contact the Conveyancing team on 0800 138 0458 or complete our contact form.

Sarah Cookson

Sarah is a solicitor and director of Switalskis with responsibility for our conveyancing department across all of our offices. She has worked in conveyancing since 1999, qualifying as a solicitor in 2004. Sarah's profile

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