One of the more common problems homeowners suffer from, particularly during the winter months, has been flooding. Here Anderson Associates, a building surveyor based on the outskirts of Ipswich, look at the steps you can take to minimise the risks if you are thinking of buying a property – and why you should always opt for a Level 3 (full building) survey report from an independent chartered surveyor.
What You Can Do Yourself
There are a number of steps you can take ahead of any property purchase. You can check the area’s long-term flood risk in England on the Government’s own website, gov.uk; however, this may not be very specific and won’t be able to give advice on the threat of floods to the property.
You may also be able to speak to your local authority or council, which may also act as the local flood authority. Check what mitigation procedures they have in place in the event of floods, such as the provision of sandbags, alternative accommodation similar measures.
It may also be worth checking the Flood Re website, which will also be able to advise not just on flood risk areas but also about how much it might cost to insure the property. This is a joint initiative between the Government and the insurance industry.
What a Solicitor Can Do
Solicitors can also help during any house purchase conveyancing process. If their searches, and more specifically their environmental report, indicate a high likelihood of flooding they can then commission a flood risk report. This will provide much more information - not just about historic flood events in the area, but also of any local preventative measures which are in place (such as flood barriers).
What a Chartered Surveyor Can Do
However, as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors points out, a solicitor’s desktop search is no substitute for the physical inspection of the property which surveyors carry out. When carrying out a full (Level 3) building survey on a property, the survey will also look at any physical evidence of potential flooding and advise of measures to prevent or reduce the risks. However, further enquiries are always advised to establish if the property has flooded in the past; if this is a concern make sure your surveyor is aware of this before they compile the report.
If the environmental survey highlights a high risk and there has been a history of flooding, more detailed specialist investigations may be required. They will be able to look at the risk from different sources of flooding, including local groundwater and surface flooding; some of these details are not included on government maps or websites.
If you are considering buying a property which has already suffered flood damage, surveyors will also be able to recommend a course of remedial works which could be used as a basis for negotiating the asking price downwards; the recommendations will vary depending on the position of the property and the materials used in its construction.
Anderson Associates – a Leading Building Surveyor in Ipswich
Whenever you are buying a home (in all cases, not just if you are worried about potential flooding issues) at Anderson Associates we would recommend one of our Level 3 full building surveys – which we can provide in all types of properties in Kent, Essex, parts of London and Suffolk.
These will not only indicate if the property has any structural problems, but also what needs to be repaired, and how much it will cost to put the issues right. Not all surveyors’ Level 3 surveys include this, and Level 2 surveys won’t.
Anderson Associates’ founder Paul Anderson is a member of RICS and has more than 30 years’ experience in the profession, in both the public and private sectors.
For more information, you can reach us on 01473 623656 if you would like to learn more about any of our services, or follow this link and fill in the online form.