Homebuyers 'fail to check flood risk'Poll finds many assumed they'd be warned

08 November 2007

 

A flooded street with houses

Houses damaged by flooding

More than half of homeowners admit they did not check to see whether their home was in a flood-risk area before moving in, says a new survey.

Around 52% of people said they did not bother to inquire whether their home was at risk of flooding.

And a quarter of these wrongly thought they would be warned if it was, according to high-street bank Abbey.

The researchers, who polled 1,000 people in October, found that 1% discovered they had bought somewhere that was in an at-risk area only when their property flooded.

Homes at risk of flooding

Around 5% of homeowners have also had their house re-designated as being at risk since they moved in.

Nine out of ten people said they would be put off buying a property that was located on a flood plain, and 22% of people who have previously lived in an area that is at risk of flooding said they had trouble selling their home because of the problem.

Tony Beckwith, of Abbey Insurance, said: 'The concern is that so many people are still unaware of the potential risk they might be facing.

'Six million people assumed they would have been told before they moved into the house if it was at risk, but actually the responsibility lies with the person buying the house to find out.

'Maybe the introduction of Home Information Packs could have been more helpful by highlighting homes that have a history of flooding.'