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Landlords and Property Owners Urged To Be On Flood Alert

Landlords and Property Owners Urged To Be On Flood Alert

Dont Be Complacent About Flood Risks

There has been a great deal of increased flooding across many parts of the UK in recent years and this has lead to an ongoing stand-off between the current coalition Government and the Association Of British Insurers (ABI) regarding flood insurance.

Private rental sector (PRS) landlords and private residential homeowners need to be more alert to the flood risks posed by rivers and an over-stressed sewerage system, and they should have adequate buildings and contents insurance in place to protect their property assets and personal possessions from flood damage.

However, a significant cause of property flooding appears to have been ignored…

Sewer flooding occurs when a main sewage system’s capacity is inadequate and strained due to flash flooding, collapsing drains or as a result of blockages caused by the inappropriate disposal of everyday waste, most notably toiletries and kitchen waste. As a result, surcharging sewers can occur at manholes or even within properties, through the unpleasant scenario of back flowing toilets.

Mark Taylor, Environmental Consultant at risk management consultancy, Argyll Environmental said: “Sewer flooding doesn’t typically attract the media attention evident in press coverage of washed out homes across the country earlier this year but its impact can be equally devastating to property owners.”

Typical damage caused by overwhelmed sewers include land and properties being flooded with water contaminated with raw sewage, an issue that alongside being horrific to clean up poses significant health concerns.

While many insurance companies will typically cover the cost of any flood damage and the clean-up, there are also preventative measures that can be taken by all property owners to reduce the risk of internal flooding.

Landlords and private residential home owners living in older properties in areas with antiquated sewer systems which combine both foul and storm water should consider taking preventative action.

To alleviate the risk of sewer flooding to properties, non-return valves can be fitted to sewage pipes. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to fit.

Non-return valves eliminate the backflow that cause up to 50% of all flood damage and also prevent other unwanted visitors such as rats from entering property from the sewers.

Equally, effective are watertight UPVC doors. Alongside reducing the risk of water and waste entering the property through external flooding, these are easy to clean and maintain, reducing the scale of damage if a flood occurs.

It is the responsibility of landlords, home owners, property investors and developers to find out who exactly is responsible for maintaining the sewage and drainage systems surrounding their properties and that adequate insurance is in place for sewers that are located within a property’s boundary.

Don’t Run the risk – Check Your Insurance Now!

 

Home insurers and the UK’s coalition Government are still arguing over paying for flood protection, meaning Millions of homeowners and Buy-To-Let Landlords are facing uncertainty over house prices, mortgage availability and the validity of their insurance policies.

Buy-To-Let Property Owners In Flood Risk Areas Fear Worst

UK Landlords With BTL Property In Flood Risk Areas Fear Worst

If the UK Government fails to meet the demands of insurers to reinstate flood protection cuts then insurance cover for millions of homes, including buy to let rental properties, could be withdrawn from June this year.

Although insurers pledged to offer insurance premiums for properties at risk of flooding, it was on the proviso that the UK government would invest money in flood defence protection.

The agreement is set to run out on July 1st 2013, but Millions of pounds have already been cut from flood defence budgets earmarked for improving sea walls and river banks.

Insurance policies starting at the end of June 2012 could be withdrawn for properties in high flood risk areas if an agreement isn’t reached, as the policies would be in force after the date the current agreement ends.

Flood defence protection is a priority for all residents living near to waterways, lakes and rivers, many people in flood-prone areas now have the added worry that their properties may be difficult or even impossible to insure later this year.

Some insurers are already warning that property owners in high flood risk areas, might not be able to renew their cover after the end of June this year, because their new insurance policy will extend beyond the 1st July 2013 agreement cut off date.

Not being able to obtain insurance cover will blight property values in many areas, as mortgage lenders may not offer funding and in many cases the properties will be very difficult to sell on.

Many home owners and buy-to-let landlords could also risk breaching stringent mortgage conditions that require them to have buildings insurance in place for the life of their mortgage loan.

Business Development Director for SearchFlow, Richard Hinton, said “Buyers will be able to obtain flood insurance for the next few months, but the long-term prospects of properties at risk of flooding are potentially bleak. Buyers purchasing in high-risk flood areas face the possibility of very high premiums, significant reductions in value, less access to mortgage finance and even action taken by the mortgage lender due to breach of the mortgage agreements.”

Check if you have a property at risk by going to the Environment Agency flood pages

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