What’s included in a flood risk search and why are they important?

AVRillo Conveyancing has written an article that discusses what’s included in the flood risk search and why it’s important.

There are so many different stages to purchasing a property. As a conveyancing professional, you will be familiar with every step, but your client may feel overwhelmed.

Legal language can often feel confusing, and many people won’t understand why the different searches and surveys are necessary, or why they take the time they do.

It’s important to be able to explain your work clearly to your client, to build trust and confidence in your ability to guide them through the process. In this guide, we cover what a flood risk search is, as well as why they are important.

What will the search show?

A flood risk search (otherwise known as a flood risk report) will give your client an understanding of whether the property is likely to flood in the future. Many people believe that because they aren’t buying a home near a river or the coast that they are not at risk of flooding. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, particularly in recent years due to climate change.

The search may include information about historic flooding, river and coastal flooding, surface and groundwater flooding, proposed flood defences, flood risk insurability as well as risk assessments and preventative advice.

When should they be completed?

The UK Finance Mortgage Lender’s Handbook explains that searches should be no older than 6 months on completion of sale, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

Are they compulsory for your client?

A flood risk search isn’t compulsory. However, given the current state of the UK, with flooding on the rise, it’s often advisable to get one carried out, especially if your client is purchasing in an area with historic flood risk.

If you’re not aware of any pre-existing flood risk in the area, and your client would rather streamline costs, they can opt to have the compulsory environmental report done first, which will indicate if there is any risk of flooding. If there is, then they can go ahead and request the flood risk search to gain further insight. This can prevent unnecessary costs, but will add some time to the conveyancing process.

What to do if the search raises any issues

If the search comes back with a risk of flooding, your client has two options. Either they can pull out of the sale if they would rather not take on the risk, or they can get home insurance that covers the flood risk. In addition to the insurance, they can get a quote for flood defence measures or ask what the current owner has in place before proceeding with the sale.

Flood risk doesn’t necessarily need to mean that a sale can’t continue, but it’s certainly something your client should carefully consider. As well as the risk for the time that they own the home, the value of high flood risk properties could be around 8.14% lower than comparable homes in other areas.

Buyers may be concerned that the report will raise a minimal risk of flooding, which won’t stop their desire to purchase, but may raise their home insurance premium. However, it’s important to note that they will be glad of an increased level of policy should the worst happen. They shouldn’t be tempted to lie to their insurer to get a cheaper policy – being upfront with their insurer is the only way to ensure they will be covered.

Better safe than sorry

Ordering a flood risk search can help your client understand the full picture for the property they are buying. As the conveyancer, your job is to explain their options to them clearly so they can make an informed decision about whether to get one done or not.


Kindly shared by AVRillo Conveyancing