In the wake of the floods, it is important if looking at buying a new home to prevent or avoid areas of flood as you cannot always depend on Insurers to provide.
The Brisbane City Council maintains the Floodwise Property Report, which provides anticipated flood levels from river, creek, waterway and storm tide flooding and ground levels for the nominated property.
The Queensland Reconstruction Authorityhas an interactive map showing floodplains and flooding information. The maps do not show a defined flood event, but show areas of Queensland where, based on geological evidence, there has previously been inundation or there is a probable chance of inundation. Given the size of Queensland there are areas where the mapping is still being produced. The Authority has established a programme to develop the floodplain maps for the entire State and release them as they become available.
Consider these main points:
- Floods and flash floods happen in all states.
- Everyone lives in a flood zone.
- Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
- Just 20 millimetres of water can cause costly damage to your property.
- Flash floods often bring walls of water 3 metres to 7 metres high.
- A car can easily be carried away by just 600 millimetres of floodwater.
- Cyclones, winter storms and hail are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
- New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
- In a high-risk area, your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by flood than by fire.
- Anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods.
- Councils continue to approve building developments in flood prone areas
- Due to budgetary constraints, many councils are avoiding their responsibility to mitigate the risk of flood
- Insurers will offer flood cover but reserve the right to decline high risk areas.
There are several factors that real estate agents should follow:
- An agent must not make false or misleading representations in relation to the letting or sale of a property.
- An agent must take reasonable steps to find out or verify the facts material to the lease or sale to avoid error, omission, exaggeration or misrepresentation.
- An agent must encourage their client (the seller) to disclose all relevant facts about the property.
- If an agent has information about detrimental features of the property they are engaged to sell, the agent is required to disclose this information to prospective buyers.
- An agent is guilty of misrepresentation if they wilfully conceal a material fact about a property, such as a previous flooding.
But do not depend on them, you still need to be prudent and do your own checks too. This includes asking locals and using the resources now available. Avoiding Risk is better than taking it.
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