A recent survey reveals that the vast majority of homebuyers in the UK want to receive upfront information about a property’s flood risk.
A study from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggests that an average nine out of 10 people feel strongly that flood risk information should be part of the material compiled when properties are put up for sale.
No property search websites currently include flood risk details for the location of listed properties despite having data on anything from school catchment locations to popular newspapers in the area. There is also no flood risk information on brochures for new build properties.
The ABI is calling for estate agents and online property portals to automatically include information such as flood risk for the location of homes that they list. These details should be based on the Environment Agency data, which is publicly available.
It insists that all solicitors and conveyancers follow the guidelines established by the Law Society to carry out specific searches for flood risk, and arrange for a comprehensive assessment by an expert if there is any such risk to the property.
These proposals are in keeping with a recommendation made by Pitt Review after the 2007 floods: that those buying a property should be made aware of any flood risk information up front. Although not a definitive guide to an individual property’s flood risk, such information would be a great indicator of where further investigations could be needed.
The ABI is also putting out a new guide aimed at house hunters. It advises people of the steps they should follow in the meantime to remain informed about the flood risk of properties under consideration.