Flooding of property – from a landlord perspective

February 13, 2014

As the flooding continues to spread across the country, more and more properties are becoming unfit for habitation*, causing problems for both landlords and tenants alike.

Here are some tips for you to share with your tenants to help them during this difficult period:

1.  Move all costly possessions, rugs, valuable documents, and electrical items, off the floor.

2.  Stock up on sandbags.  These should be delivered by the local council or Fire Brigade.

3.  Pack items of sentimental value in waterproof bags and move them upstairs.

4.  Write down important numbers such as your home insurance provider and policy number, and Floodline (0845 988 1188). Keep this information to hand.

5.  Advise your tenant to keep an eye on weather forecasts and flood warnings.

6.  If flooding is likely, advise your tenants to put together a flood emergency kit of any medication, important documents, and a change of clothes – just in case they need to be evacuated.

If you have already been affected by flooding then you will undoubtedly be looking at the fine print of your insurance policy, however even if your property isn’t in any immediate danger you should always be aware of your obligations as a landlord:

What happens with rent payments?

  • If your tenant can’t live in the property because of flooding or a lack of heating or fresh water, they will not be liable to pay the rent
  • Many landlord insurance policies are likely to cover for the loss of rent so make sure if this is the case with your policy

Who is responsible for finding alternative accommodation?

  • You cannot be held responsible for an ‘Act of God’, meaning that you do not have an automatic obligation to re-house the tenant
  • Your insurance policy may include covering the cost of alternative accommodation for the tenant and again we highly recommend that you check if this is the case
  • If you have another property available that the tenant can move into temporarily you may be able to continue with the original tenancy agreement until they can move back in
  • If the property needs extensive work, you may want to agree with the tenant to end the tenancy early

As always, clear communication is key to ensure avoiding further stress caused by the uncertainty of what happens next and who pays for it.

All our branches are at the service of our landlords and tenants to help those affected by the wettest winter since records began.  It is at times like these that a fully managed service is worth its weight in gold and can take a lot of strain off busy landlords.

Money Saving Expert also have some useful tips for claiming on your insurance if you have been flooded >>> here.

The Environmental Agency is also a useful resource.  Find out more >>> here.

*At a basic level this means that the property has to be structurally sound with access to hot and cold water and heating, but it does of course also have to be possible for the tenant to actually live in the property.

Read some more customer reviews of our Guaranteed Rent service >>> here.

Find your nearest office >>> here. 

Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised lettings agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

Find us on Twitter @northwoodUK or visit our YouTube Channel.

 

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