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Property search provider cautions conveyancers to take on more flood searches to avoid being accused of negligence (31 January 2013)

Date: 31/01/2013
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Property search provider cautions conveyancers to take on more flood searches to avoid being accused of negligence

The Property search provider Searchflow has warned conveyancers to carry out more flood searches to avoid accusations of negligence with parts of country facing threats of flooding due to melting snow.
Generally most conveyancers only seek flood searches on properties which are traditionally seen as being at risk of flood or those built on floodplains or located near rivers.
But recent flooding has shown that much of Britain faces the risk of getting inundated and January’s snow followed by massive rainfall in December has left the water table high and the ground saturated.
On Tuesday, the Environment Agency said there were currently 50 flood warnings across the country with a further 180 flood alerts.
Richard Hinton, business development director of SearchFlow commented conveyancers were accustomed to recommending flood searches on properties built near rivers or on flood plains.
However the current threat of flood proves that the danger could arrive from very different hazards, in this case saturated groundwater and thawing snow. This was going to affect people who traditionally were use to worry about flooding in common risk areas.
Conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers should bear these factors in mind to avoid accusations of negligence in the future. There was a need for much more due diligence in the worst hit areas in particularly Wales.
Hinton says that the situation was particularly serious in Wales where there were only 11 percent of property transactions which included a flood search in the conveyancing searches. But the Environment Agency had this week announced flood alerts for large parts of Wales.
He added that while 35 percent of property transactions in London included a flood search in their due diligence, because the city was clearly built on a flood plain and was a obvious choice for search for flooding but elsewhere in the country situation was different.

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