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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7578
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Whos responsibility is it to establish if a house being purchased

Resolved Question:

Who's responsibility is it to establish if a house being purchased sits on a flood plain. I bought my home in 2001 and only after sever flooding from 2007,2008 ,2009 and 2010 did I find out that my home is on a flood plain. My insurance was withdrawn in 2008 as the house floods twice a year. The property has been devalued by 90% as no defences can be built and I sit alone on 6 acres with no other properties in the area. When I purchased the house should the valuer or solicitor or mortgage company not have carried out checks to prevent me purchasing at an over inflated price.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.



Thanks for your Question.


The mortgage company instructs a valuer to value the house on their behalf. This is not the same as a survey, it is merely a cursory check of the structure of the building to check that the property is worth, structurally, the price you had agreed to buy it for. If there are other non-structural problems apparent at the time of inspection then the valuer would obviously report these but I doubt he would be able to make an assessment as to whether it is on a flood plain unless he had some personal knowledge of the specific locality.


Your solicitor acts on both your behalf and for the lender. They make a decision over which pre-contractual searches to carry out. If the property is in a rural area with no other houses around then this would increase the desirability of commission an environmental search. This search should, should, reveal whether the property is on a flood plain or not.


If you solicitor did not commission an environmental search you may have a claim against them. If the solicitor did and floodplain was revealed but not reported to you then you will have a claim.


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