Heavy rain left the centre of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire badly flooded Heavy rain left the centre of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire badly flooded

Flooding can have a catastrophic impact on businesses which could last months or years.

A legal advice website has spelt out the problems flooding can cause landlords who let commercial and domestic properties and what they can do to prevent them from happening in the first place.

It’s also sound advice for facilities management companies.

The website legalfutures.co.uk says landlords often badly underestimate the far-reaching impact of flooding - especially what happens to the rent if a property is put out of action by floodwater and who should pay for damage to the tenants’ property.

The website states: “For any landlord whose commercial property is at risk of flooding the message is that much can be done to mitigate your business exposure. The key is to act early by assessing all areas of possible risk and to put in place measures where necessary.” 

It adds: “It is essential for landlords to understand their contractual risk exposure when it comes to flooding.  While it is typically the landlord’s duty to ensure their land and building from flooding related damage, disputes may arise in relation to rent payments if a tenant’s business is interrupted during a flood event.  It should be clear who is responsible if damage has occurred to assets located within the property, including stock, machinery, and equipment.  Any uninsured risks should also be understood by both landlord and tenant and a prior agreement for potential liability reached.

“To protect against flood-related disputes, effective planning is essential.  Beyond putting in place the necessary insurance cover and commercial lease arrangement, a highly useful approach is to put in place a flood plan in conjunction with your tenant.  This will ensure that you both understand your respective roles, responsibilities, and steps which will be undertaken during and after a flood event. 

“This will ensure that no incorrect assumptions are made as to whether action should be taken by landlord or tenant, hence reducing the potential disputes later.  For example, if the building is near a river at risk of breaching, who is responsible for putting in place temporary flood barriers?  Or if a pipe has burst within the premises, whose role is it to action the repair.  Likewise, following the event, who is responsible for any clean-up?”

To read more on this story go to https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/associate-news/the-effect-of-the-rising-uk-flood-risk-on-commercial-property

More and more facilities management companies are preparing for floods 24/7 by having a stock of FloodSax alternative sandbags which are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.

Once FloodSax come into contact with water they inflate to weigh 20kg (44lbs) which makes them more effective than traditional sandbags at keeping floodwater out.

More than 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.