The Environment Agency commented this week that millions of UK homes are at risk of flooding.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors supports the idea of encouraging home owners to minimise damage in the event of a flood. However, there are wider issues to be considered by DEFRA and the Environment Agency.
Tight resources mean that proper maintenance of flood defences by the Agency are under threat. This is not helped by the fact that the agency is responsible for preserving the environment and preventing flooding as these agendas can sometimes conflict.
RICS believes there should be an overarching body for water management. At present, for example, if sewers flood properties, it is not clear who is responsible.
The Agency’s maps are also unsatisfactory, sometimes inaccurate and confuse practitioners and the wider public, the Agency needs to be more open about its data and willing to discuss other systems, such as those developed by leading insurers.
All professionals involved in the home buying and selling process should be responsible for highlighting any flood risk potential to prospective buyers. Insurers, mortgage providers, surveyors and government agencies must continue to work together to ensure that flood risk cover is available to all homeowners, wherever commercially possible.