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There is no doubt - climate change is altering our weather patterns. Whilst summer temperatures sky rocket on an annual basis, incessant, heavy rainfall is now normal too and it brings a greater risk of flooding both from rivers and surface water. We look at how flood risks and past flooding can affect a property sale.

Changes in weather

Met Office analysis shows that, on average, from 2010-2019, UK winters were 12% wetter than between 1961 and 1990. In fact, five of the wettest winters have been from 1990 onwards. In December 2020, Storm Bella alone saw hundreds of homes in Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire flood close to Christmas. The reality is that flooding is something many of us need to consider and even the risk of a flood can put buyers off.

What is considered a ‘flood’?

For insurance purposes, a flood is when external water enters your home or garden, rather than via a leaky pipe or a hole in your roof. There are several different types of flooding:

  • Coastal
  • River
  • Ground water
  • Surface water
  • Sewer

The UK has Flood Zone Tiers, which set out how likely flooding is in an area. When you sell your home, your buyer will find out what zone your property is in from the Environment Search Report. You can check now to find out if your home is at risk of flooding.

Be honest about flooding

Do not be tempted to hide any flood risks at your property, even if you are concerned that your home won’t sell easily. As a seller, you are legally obliged to complete the TA6 Form. This asks for information about your home and you must answer the questions honestly and with as much detail as possible. The form also gives you space to explain what preventative measures you have taken to protect your home.

If you do not declare issues on the form, the buyer could take legal action against you at a later date.

What can you do?

If your home is in a flood risk area - or it has flooded in the past - and you want to sell it, there are things you can do to help:

  • Ensure flood protection measures are in place before the sale
  • Demonstrate that you have been able to get buildings and contents insurance for the property, submitting documents as evidence
  • Fix any flood damage that affects the property’s cosmetic or structural condition

If you’re not able to carry out flood prevention improvements, or you fear past flooding will put off even the most resilient of buyers, Open Property Group will purchase your property whether it has current flood damage (regardless of its condition), is in a flood risk area or if it has flooded before.

As a seller, it’s also worth bearing in mind that banks do not always lend on properties that have flooded – leaving your home unmortgageable - and this fact alone may scupper your sale on the open market.

Sell to us

Open Property Group is an expert at buying ‘problem properties’ directly from sellers, including those that have flooded previously or are located in a Flood Zone. Start the sale of a property at risk of flooding today with a free cash offer.

Get a FREE cash offer

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