Hundreds of thousands of private landlords face exclusion from the government’s new flood insurance scheme.
Flood Re is an agreement between the government and insurance companies to offer affordable home insurance in flood-risk areas which affect millions of homes across the country.
Businesses were excluded from the start, now after a consultation, the government is not allowing buy to let, holiday let or house in multiple occupation (HMO) landlords join the scheme.
The main reason appears to be the rules of the scheme mean the homeowner must reside at the property as their main home.
“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,” says the consultation document.
Residential Landlord Association policy director Richard Jones has written to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson seeking urgent clarification on the matter.
“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,” he wrote.
“The government is looking to support private rented housing but this will have the opposite effect.”
Flood Re replaces a ‘statement of principles’ between the government and home insurers that ran out in June 2013.
The old agreement covered businesses and private rented homes.