Government's flood insurance plans exclude private landlords, RLA complains
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Environment, Finance
The Residential Landlords Association has complained that government plans to ensure that flood insurance is widely available will not extend to private rental property, leaving landlords vulnerable to massive financial burdens.
Days after much of England's east coast suffered some of the most serious flooding in over half a century, the RLA is seeking clarification from the government over its flood insurance proposals currently going through parliament.
The Flood Re scheme aims to ensure that flood insurance remains affordable and available to homeowners at high risk of flooding. The scheme, designed in conjunction with the Association of British Insurers, would provide a fund to offer those at high flood risk who might struggle to get affordable flood insurance with cover at a set price.
Insurers would put into the fund those high flood risk homes they feel unable to insure themselves, with the premium to cover the flood risk part of the household cover capped.
The RLA says it was led to believe that private landlords would be covered, but that the government’s response to the scheme's consultation concludes that properties would be excluded where the owner does not reside in it, effectively excluding rented homes.
The government document says: “For properties to be eligible for Flood Re, they would need to be insured in the name of an individual, they would need to have been allocated a council tax band; be used for residential purposes; have an individual premium; and be occupied by the policyholder, or their immediate family.”
The RLA's policy director, Richard Jones, has now written to the environment secretary, Owen Paterson MP, seeking urgent clarification on the matter. In his letter, he writes: “This is an extremely disturbing development and poses significant threats to the ongoing viability of those areas where there is a significant risk of flooding. Insurance may not be obtainable at all or only obtainable on prohibitive terms. It could place landlords in breach of the terms of their mortgages.
“The government is looking to support private rented housing but this will have the opposite effect.”