This winter has seen many homes in the UK destroyed by flooding. There are many tenants in private rented accommodation in the UK who may not have the relevant home insurance in place to cover these situations. There are also tenants who are renting from social landlords and local authorities who have been affected by the flooding this winter and are unsure what help and assistance is available to them.
If you have been made homeless by the flooding you can go to your local authority for immediate help. You can contact them and request a homelessness assessment. The local authority should provide temporary accommodation for you and your family while they are considering your application. If you have had to leave your property due to flooding, you should be automatically accepted as in priority need and given temporary accommodation until your property is suitable for you to return to.
If your property is rented from a social landlord or local authority and you have to move out of the property because of flood damage your landlord should provide you with temporary accommodation. If this is the case and you have had to leave your property and your landlord has stated that they will temporarily house you, you must ask your landlord for this agreement in writing.
You must ask your landlord for confirmation that you are being temporarily re-housed due to the flooding and that you will be moving back into your property once it is back in a suitable condition. The document must also confirm that both you and your landlord agree why you are leaving, that you can live in the property on the same basis as before and ask your landlord to provide you with an estimate of how long the repair works, if needed, are expected to take.
Your landlord’s building insurance should cover the flood damage to your home and your landlord must make sure that your home is repaired so that it is fit for you to live in again. Although your landlord does not have to legally replace the contents within your home, they must fix the issues of repair at the property which have been caused by the flooding. Your landlord must repair any damage to the structure of the property, any damage to the property which affects the installations for the supply of water, electricity, sanitation and heating.
You must ensure that you tell your landlord about the need for any repairs following any flooding in your home. These repairs must be carried out within a reasonable period of time.
If you have found yourself to be victim of flooding this winter and are no longer able to stay at your property due to repair works, or find yourself to be homeless, please contact a member of our housing law team on 0175 321 6399 who may be able to assist you further.
By Katherine McEvoy