The end of 2015 saw extreme weather conditions which caused unprecedented flooding across Great Britain.
High waters took away bridges and ruined properties throughout Scotland, Northern England and Wales. Lord John Krebs from the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee said on a December ITV news broadcast;
“If we take the long-term view, we can tell from climate science that this kind of extreme flooding event is going to become more common over the next few decades - and we haven't really been preparing ourselves.”
Of course, the law does not require Landlords to take special measures for tenants who might be effected by flooding. However, flooding means your property may be empty for months while repairs are made, adding lack of rental income even if your insurance covers the full expense of repairs.
So, while the government looks into various flood protection schemes what can portfolio holders do to protect their investment properties that are vulnerable to flooding?
- Ensure insurance is in place for flooding. Make sure you are covered for both flooding from surface/drainage water and river levels.
- Consider installing Property Level Protection (PLP) flood resistant UPVC doors, replacing carpets with tiled flooring and updating walls with waterproof plaster.
- Consider having the external walls repointed with water resistant mortar, and ensure all cable holes are sealed with a silicone gel or other waterproofing material.
- Ensure that your tenants are aware of the need to keep drainage areas, ditches and even gutters clear and free of debris.
Lastly, here are a few resources you can use to find out whether your properties are at risk of flooding, and even localised suggestions on how to protect them.
The National Flood Protection Forum provides the Property Protection Advisor service, which gives information and specific recommendations based on a postcode. The form takes only a moment to fill in.
By signing up to the Environment Agency’s Flood Warning service on 0845 988 1188, you will receive warnings if the area is at risk and will have time to take action.
Use www.bluepages.org.uk to find a surveyor carry out a review of a property will ensure the correct alterations are undertaken and will help reduce risk.
As a responsible landlord, protecting your property from flooding will only make it more desirable to tenants. Such measures can help improve your property value, reduce insurance costs, and protect your investment. Most importantly though, they give you peace of mind.