Flood Searches More Important Than Ever Due To Climate Change

In these days of digitised property information, conveyancers have a wide choice of search reports at their fingertips when considering how to best identify risk for their client’s chosen property.  What is surprising, however, is that only about 29% of orders [1]placed with Geodesys include a full flood assessment, meaning a large proportion of homebuyers are unaware of potential flood risk.

With a growing population, increased demand for housing, ageing infrastructure and severe impacts on climate change, flooding is a significant problem which will inevitably threaten more communities across the UK.  Ranging in impact from minor inconvenience to major disruption, every year millions of UK homes, businesses and people are affected by floods.

According to the latest information from the Environment Agency, the UK currently has 5.9 million properties at risk of flooding, equating to one in six homes being at risk – an increase of 400,000 properties since 2013. Put into monetary figures, the statistics[2] are even more startling with the effects of flooding and managing flood risk costing the UK approximately £2.2bn a year.

Conveyancers have a vital role in informing their clients about the possibility of flooding to ensure they understand the potential risks and are armed with the right information to take steps to mitigate them ahead of the transaction. Home buyers need to be aware that flooding can happen anywhere, even if a property is not next to the sea or a river.  There are many different types which property purchasers should be made aware of, including surface water flooding, river flooding, drain and sewer flooding, coastal flooding and flash floods.  All have potential to wreak havoc on a homebuyer’s property and life.

In recent years, floods have made the headlines on several occasions. Statistics from the Met Office revealed[3] December 2015 as the wettest month ever recorded in the UK, with almost double the average rain fall due to temperatures 4.1c higher than normal.

Amazingly, although homeowners tend to have both insurance and warning systems in place to protect themselves against fire and burglary, very few take steps to reduce the chances of their property being flooded. This is rather concerning given that the average cost to rectify flood damage[4] stands at £28,000 compared to the average £7,200 to fix fire damage, and £1,000 on resolving damage after a burglary.

When advising clients conveyancers should look for a residential property search that provides a full assessment on the different types of flooding, plus information on insurability. For information on sewer flooding conveyancers should refer to the CON29DW Drainage and Water report, which is also an essential part of the conveyancing process.

Geodesys offers a number of flood searches and the CON29DW, providing conveyancers with sound knowledge of any flood risks to their client, enabling them to make better, informed decisions about their purchase before proceeding further.

To find out more visit: http://www.geodesys.com

By Jonny Davey, Product Manager at Geodesys

[1] 29% quoted is based on an analysis of Geodesys orders for search reports January 2018 – December 2018

[2]https://www.groundsure.com/blogs/flood

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/300332/04-947-flooding-summary.pdf

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/05/december-2015-was-wettest-month-ever-recorded-in-uk

[4] Groundsure, 2016: https://www.groundsure.com/blogs/flood-re

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