08 January 2014 | I-Am-The-Agent | 0 Comments
The UK has been hit drastically by severe flooding in recent years and this looks set to get worse in the years to come.
December 2013 and so far in January 2014 we have seen some of the worst floods for decades with 84 different flood warnings in England and Wales, in addition to over 200 areas that are currently on alert according to the Environment Agency. In London specifically, the city is set for the worst weather to hit it in some 20 years with winds up to 50mph and heavy rain causing flooding in many areas.
In terms of property this has a massive impact in both the long and short term.
Looking at the situation from a short term perspective then severe damage is a natural cause of this bad weather. Water seeping into the home and destroying furniture, flooring and appliances as well as the very foundations of the property is a major problem for many people and a very real threat. Many homes in Kent were left without power over Christmas with water inundating many properties and causing severe damage.
In the longer term, having a property in a flood prone area reduces its value dramatically as the risk of flooding and damage every year is not one that many potential buyers are willing to pay full price for. This also extends to insurance where insurance costs rise considerably if the property has either been flooded before or if it is in an area threatened with flooding in the future.
In fact, even though house prices hit a record high in London (and across the country) in August of last year, many areas have been hit substantially by property value loss due to flooding and the predictions of severe weather changes in years to come.
AA Insurance reported last year that over 200,000 homes in the UK at the minute have seen their value decrease due to being in a serious flood risk area and over 2 million could have the same problem given their proximity to rivers and the coastline as a result of increase flood levels. This was further backed up by the Environment Agency which ascertained that around 5 million people in England and Wales lived in flood risk properties.
At Iamtheagent we advise on several ways as to how to prepare for severe floods. Aside from our online property management services that focus specifically on anti-flooding measures, limiting damage and also on repairs afterwards, we advise homeowners, landlords and those who are renting to:
- Move valuable items upstairs or as high up as you can get them
- Install flood boards on doors and any vents to keep water out
- Use damp proofing bricks to minimize any structural damage
- Ensure all guttering is free from leaf blockage or debris
- Ensure any loose roof tiles are secure
Furthermore, LV Insurance argues that landlords should fit tiles rather than carpet inside their properties to allow for easy evacuation of water and to reduce damage.
Analysts from the British Antarctic Survey and University of Bristol have predicted that specific parts of London such as Westminster and Central London will be at an increase threat in the coming years due to rising water levels and more severe and unpredictable weather. This also extends to areas around major rivers and waterways. The Thames Barrier was closed in December for the first time in 2 years, so London is very much on high alert to.
For landlords this means it is imperative to install anti-flood devices, ensure that properties are properly insured that they have an adequate means of repairing any damage that is caused.
More properties are now at risk to flooding and it is vital that they are appropriately protected. We also suggest when buying a property online or otherwise to investigate thoroughly whether the property is situated in a flood risk area.
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