Buyer Beware – Is Your Dream Home A Flood Risk?
“When you fall in love with your dream home it is sometimes difficult to see it without rose tinted glasses. Buying property is more complex than it has ever been before,” said Amanda Holden, Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing at The Wilkes Partnership.
According to a report from The Conveyancing Association in December 2019; ‘as the global climate undergoes rapid and unprecedented changes, the frequency and severity of flood events in the UK are due to increase.’
Amanda continues: “We all remember the first two weeks of November 2019 when we saw bigger floods and new areas of flooding on our roads around Birmingham and Solihull. This increased flood risk has a knock-on effect on the house buying process.”
“As part of the conveyancing process we carry out a drainage search which checks whether a property is connected to the mains foul water sewer or whether it has its own septic tank. It will also confirm whether the property is connected to the mains surface water system and the location of the nearest mains surface water drain to the property. If the drainage search doesn’t reveal where surface water goes then you may have a problem as it is essential to know where the surface water drains to from a flooding point of view. We also carry out an environmental search which contains information as to the flood risk of a particular property”.
“You will want to know if the property is at risk of flooding and importantly whether you will be able to obtain suitable insurance under normal terms. If your property is in an area affected by flooding you will need to check whether there are any exclusions on the buildings insurance policy you have chosen. Any mortgage lender must be satisfied that those exclusions don’t prejudice their lending,” Amanda said.
In addition, if the property you have your heart set on has a paved drive you will need to find out whether it is permeable. Due to the increasing trend to fully pave front driveways, which reduces the ability for the ground to absorb excess surface water, regulations have been in force since 2008 requiring driveways to be built with permeable material.
The risk of flooding is just one of many aspects of the house buying process that Wilkes will consider for you. The residential conveyancing team at Wilkes offer an efficient, friendly service in the community where you can see somebody face to face who will handle your sale and purchase from beginning to end.