One of the great advantages of renting a property is the reduced responsibility in maintaining it.
That is not to say you can ignore the leaking gutter or let the garden become a wildlife centre. While some things do fall under the Landlord’s duty, others are solely the responsibility of the tenant.
It’s a common error on the tenant’s part to assume they can do nothing to protect themselves and their belongings from flood damage. It is also a mistake to assume it is the landlord’s duty to rehome you in the case of a flood. The Citizens Advice Bureau offer a guide to the rights tenants have in the event of a flood.
If you are lucky, your landlord’s insurance will cover building repairs. However, too many tenants have discovered not only that they have lost everything they own, but also have no-where to call home.
A savvy tenant can avoid this by doing what is within your power to stay safe:
Know if your home is at risk.
Register with the Government’s Flood Warning Scheme, the site also provides access to a highly detailed map showing live flood warnings across Great Britain.
Reduce the risk of flooding and damage:
- Keep guttering and drains clear, this is one of the main causes of localised flooding.
- Report any faults to your agency or landlord when you discover them, this will allow your landlord to prevent a problem from happening.
- Re-home any irreplaceable private possessions to the second floor of a home where possible, or above waist height if your home is on the ground level.
- Ask your landlord what flood prevention measures are in place on the property.
- Look at taking out tenant insurance. Remember, it is not the landlord’s responsibility to replace or protect your personal belongings.
Don’t wait until your home is flooded! Be prepared.
If the worst should happen you’ll need to be ready and able to leave your home. At such frightening times it’s hard to know what to take from your house. Photos? IT equipment? A Child’s favourite teddy? What about the pets? It’s worse when everyone is trying to do the same thing. Create an emergency kit for each person, in a waterproof container. A few of the things it could contain include:
- Wind up/ Battery Torch (Flooding can cause gas pipes to rupture. Naked flames could ignite escaping gas.)
- At least 2 days’ worth of any medication that person may need
- Books/puzzle/cards to entertain children
- Warm clothes to last two days.
- Hot Water Bottle
Prepare a list of responsibilities
Make sure that everyone has a role. This way nothing important and no one is forgotten. It creates a calmer environment, and helps speed up your evacuation. Remember, property and belongings can be replaced. Lives cannot.