Risk of negligence due to snow

Conveyancers have been warned of the need to carry out more flood searches to avoid accusations of negligence, as parts of the country face the threat of flood from melting snow.

On Tuesday, the Environment Agency said there were currently 50 flood warning across the country — with a further 180 flood alerts.

According to search provider SearchFlow most conveyancers only recommend flood searches on properties that are traditionally seen as being at risk of flood.

Whilst properties built on floodplains or located near rivers are usually covered, the threat posed by snow is very different.

Richard Hinton, business development director of SearchFlow said: “Conveyancers are accustomed to recommending flood searches on properties built near rivers or on flood plains.

“But the current threat of flood highlights that the danger can come from very different hazards — in this case saturated groundwater and thawing snow.

“This will affect people who haven’t traditionally had to worry about flooding. Conveyancers need to bear this in mind if they want to avoid accusations of negligence in the future.”

The situation is particularly serious in Wales. Only 11% of property transactions in the Wales have included a flood search in the conveyancing searches.

Yesterday, the Environment Agency announced flood alerts for 21 areas in Wales. In seven of those areas they said flooding is expected, that residents should be prepared, remain vigilant, and take precautions where possible.

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