When acting on the purchase of a house, Conveyancing Solicitors in Derby and Derbyshire may carry out a search to ascertain if the property is at a significant risk from flooding. Parts of Derby were affected by floods some years ago, and in view of the severe flooding which has been experienced in many areas over recent years, insurers have increased premiums for properties in high risk areas, while some properties have become uninsurable. This has become a particular concern to house owners, as buyers would be reluctant to buy a property in an area shown as being at significant risk.
If a property is at major risk from flooding, then a buyer’s Conveyancing Solicitor would have to report this to any mortgage lender, which could lead to any mortgage offer being withdrawn, so it is important for enquiries to be made.
As the River Derwent, together with other tributaries, runs through Derby, some parts of the city are at higher risk than others. Solicitors may therefore commission a specialist survey for properties close to the river. Although the maps on the Environment Agency’s website can give a general idea of the level of risk, this will not be sufficient for homebuyers' needs.
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This is an extract from a survey commissioned by a Fridaysmove recommended Conveyancing Solicitor in connection with the purchase of a Derby property:
National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA) rating
"The study site or an area within 25m of the centre of the study site, has been assigned a Significant flood risk within the Environment Agency's NaFRA database. This denotes that information used to compile this database indicates the property is considered to have a greater than 1. 3% chance of flooding in any given year. "
Flood Zone risk
"The study site or an area within 25m of the centre of the study site has been assessed to lie within FloodZone 2. This denotes that information used to compile this database indicates the property has a greater than 1% of flooding in any given year from rivers, or greater than 0. 1% but less than 0. 5% chance of flooding from the sea. Flood Zone information does not take into account the presence of flood defences. "
River Derwent Flood Defences
"The study site does not lie within or in close proximity to an area considered by the Environment Agency to benefit from Flood Defences. "
Groundwater flood risk in Derby
"The study site has a Negligible susceptibility to groundwater flooding. "
"It is recommended that several insurers are contacted to confirm the availability of reasonably priced insurance for the property. Additionally, the purchaser may wish to make specific enquiries of the vendor regarding the history of flooding at the study site.
As the site lies within or in close proximity to an area with a Significant risk rating in the NaFRA database, insurance covering flooding may not be obtainable. It is recommended that quotes are obtained from several insurance companies.
Additionally, a purchaser may wish to consider reducing the impact of flooding at the property by installing flood protection measures at the site. Such measures may help reduce the effects of flooding at the property if flood defences are absent or are breached, and may assist in obtaining insurance for the site. Further information on flood protection measures may be obtained from the National Flood Forum or the Flood Protection Association. "
Clearly there was a potential problem here, and the buyers were advised of the high level of risk reported for this property. The Conveyancing Solicitor raised enquiries with the sellers as to whether they had experienced any problems from flooding, or obtaining insurance cover. The buyers also contacted a number if insurance companies to see if they could get cover at reasonable levels. In fact this particular Derby house did not have any history of flooding, and insurance was not a problem, but the buyers were grateful that their Derby Conveyancing Solicitor had taken the trouble to make these checks for them.