Landlords in many parts of the UK are counting the cost of the devastating floods that have hit towns, cities and rural villages in the last couple of weeks.
The UK has suffered the worst start to a summer for over a century with some areas already having recorded over 15 inches of rain in the last couple of months with the promise from weather forecasters that there is still more to come. Thousands of properties have been flooded including a large proportion in the private residential letting sector. Insurers are already warning that landlord insurance will go up for everyone in the coming years as a result of the claims coming in now.
Of course it is a miserable scenario that faces anyone suffering from a flood but landlords often come out worse than most simply because they are losing their living as well as their property. It is already estimated the repair bills will run into hundreds of millions and this will go into billions if the rains continue. Environment Secretary Caroline Spellman has been busy visiting areas suffering from floods and said she is considering imposing a levy within months that would apply to all property insurance policies in a bid to raise enough cash to cover the havoc wreaked by catastrophic flood events. Cynics say the plan is just another stealth tax which will add up to 10% on a property insurance premium but Ms Spellman said: “The Government and insurers are determined to see insurance premiums remain affordable and widely available, particularly in light of the pressure household budgets are currently under and the pattern of flood events we have seen over recent years.”
With serious flood events hitting parts of West Yorkshire and Somerset already this week it is a worrying time for landlords whose business is coming under threat from something they can do little about.