By Legal Futures’ Associates Thames Water Property Searches 
When Storm Christoph hit the UK in January of this year, two months’ worth of rain fell in just 36 hours. The impact was catastrophic, with 400 homes flooded and insurance industry losses from the storm reaching in the region of £120 million.
To make matters worse, climate change means major weather events like Storm Christoph are not one-off aberrations. According to the Environment Agency, at least 5.2 million homes and businesses in the UK are at risk from flooding, with numbers predicted to rise over future decades. It has never been more important for property professionals to prioritise flood risk.
This is where Thames Water Property Searches can help. We offer a reliable assessment of any potential flood risk. Our comprehensive flood risk reports cover key types of flood risks – river, coastal, surface water and ground water – along with current and proposed flood defences and a record of historic flood events.
‘Being a victim of floodwater ravaging your home has far-reaching and long-term consequences for everyone concerned,’ says Philip Hill of environmental experts Landmark who offer flood reports through Thames Water Property Searches.
‘To watch helplessly as everything you have worked so hard for is thrown into a skip is hard enough, but to lose precious sentimental items – such as children’s first drawings or photos of relatives who are no longer with us – is completely devastating. The misery is further compounded by having to move out of your home into alternative accommodation for months. Victims of flooding often say that the recovery process was far worse than the flood itself.
‘Many of us happily invest in smoke alarms and security locks to protect ourselves against fires or thefts; but if you live in a floodplain, you’re far more likely to be flooded than have your belongings lost in a fire. A flood is the most effective and indiscriminate ‘burglar’ there is; it will take everything you have including items of no value to anyone else.’
Last year, to reflect the increasing prevalence of flood risk, The Law Society updated their guidance to help ensure conveyancers protect their clients. A comprehensive flood risk report available through Thames Water Property Searches is the first step in a prudent approach to mitigating flood risk and an affordable and quick way to keep your clients informed about any risk of flood to the property they are looking to purchase. Their considered analysis of any flood risks applicable to your potential property purchase can offer you, and your clients, peace of mind and reassurance.
Each easy to interpret report provides a comprehensive and clear analysis of flood risk and the availability of insurance. If there is a high risk of flooding, consultants manually assess the flood risk at no extra cost to ensure a property specific assessment.
Danielle Orosa at environmental experts Groundsure, a further Thames Water Property Searches flood report provider, says: ‘Not only should river and coastal flooding be taken into consideration, but surface and groundwater flooding are becoming all too common. We believe that flood risk is a key risk factor that should always be taken into consideration in any property transaction whether or not the home is in a designated flood plain.
‘Homebuyers need to be fully aware of the types of flooding that their property may be at risk from, which are not always obvious. For a mortgaged property to reach completion, insurance must be in place, so it is imperative that the purchaser has all of the facts up front, otherwise it could lead to delays or fall throughs with their purchase.’
Rest assured, as far as flood risk is concerned, Thames Water Property Searches is here to offer efficient and accurate results that will stop you going under.