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Flood Reports

Flood risk is categorised in six main ways

  • Surface water flooding – occurs when heavy rainfall overwhelms the drainage capacity of an area.
  • Sewer flooding – occurs when sewers are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall or when they become blocked.
  • Groundwater flooding – occurs when underground water levels rise above surface level. This is most likely to occur in low lying areas underlain by permeable rocks.
  • River flooding – occurs when a watercourse cannot cope with the water draining into it from the surrounding land.
  • Coastal flooding – results from a combination of high tides, low lying land and, sometimes, stormy conditions.
  • Flooding as a result of localised private drainage failure – for example failure in the operation of soakaways. This is the main reason for flood claims in the UK.

ETSOS provides access to a range of flood risk data via reports from Landmark and Groundsure. We also include our Flooding indicator as part of our Hazard Checker to alert you when a property is at risk of flooding, in addition to resources provided by government, including:

The scale of flooding since 2000 and the cost of repair of flood hit properties (£20,000-£45,000 Source: The Association of British Insurers) has left many home owners unable to afford flood insurance, and in some cases with unisurable property.

The issue should be firmly on your law firm’s agenda with both the lenders, and The Law Society putting a focus on it through the CML Handbook

The section in the CML Handbook about insurance has been amended. You are required to make reasonable enquiries that buildings insurance cover has been arranged for the property no later than completion. You should remind the borrower that they must have buildings insurance in accordance with the requirements of the mortgage no later than completion and that they must maintain such insurance cover throughout the mortgage term;

the inclusion of flood enquiries on the standard TA6 Property Information Form

Buyers should be aware that flood risk may not be obvious – a property does not need to be close to a river, the sea or on low-lying ground to be at risk. Surface water flooding can occur in areas which have seen relatively little flooding in the past. If the property has been affected by flooding, the seller should state which parts of the property were affected and when the flooding occurred.

and within the Law Society’s Flood Risk practice note

In all conveyancing transactions, when acting for a prospective buyer, tenant or lender, you should in all cases consider whether or not to mention the issue of flood risk to your client and, if appropriate, make further investigations.


The ETSOS quote and referral system is a free useful tool in keeping conveyancing work where it belongs: i.e. on the local high street! It is an essential way to prepare for the inevitable onslaught of Tesco law Gary Rycroft – Partner, Joseph A Jones & Co Solicitors

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