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Landlords urged to check their flood risk

A campaign to make home owners aware of the consequences of owning a home in a high flood risk area has been launched this week and landlords are being encouraged to check their portfolios more closely over the next six months.

The Know Your Flood Risk UK campaign is trying to get both home owners, estate agents and letting agents to take the risk of flooding more seriously and warns that some home owners may be unable to get property insurance on at risk homes after this summer.

After the disastrous floods of 2007/8 across many areas of the UK the Government managed to get a “Statement of Principle” from insurance companies to insure at risk properties until June 2013. It was thought this would give the country time to prepare better flood defences and allow individuals in threatened areas to make their own arrangements to alleviate the problem. The financial downturn has seen less cash thrown at the problem than was anticipated and when home owners in threatened areas come to renew their policies after June this year, they may be in for a nasty shock.

It is known that insurers will be setting excess levels of over £20,000 on some properties and home owners who may even be unaware that their dwelling is in a high risk area may find they can’t get insurance at all, which could actually lose them their home. Richard Hinton from Searchflow, a company who carry out property and land searches for conveyancing companies, explained why “Many mortgages require the lender to have building insurance in place and although buyers will be able to obtain flood insurance for the next few months, the long-term prospects of properties at risk of flooding are potentially bleak.

“Especially for buyers purchasing in high-risk flood areas, the possibility of very high premiums, significant reductions in value, less access to mortgage finance – even action taken by the mortgage lender due to breach of the mortgage agreement – is high.”

The website for the campaign will give interested property owners information on all sorts of actions they can take against flooding as well as the opportunity to find out if indeed their home is in a high risk area.

By Simon Dack

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