Housing help if your home is flooded

Find out about rehousing and repair rights if your home floods because of severe storms and heavy rainfall.

Risk of flooding in your area

To find out if homes in your area are at risk of flooding see Gov.uk's live flooding service.

You can sign up for flood warnings if your home is at risk of flooding.

Leaving if your home is flooded

Call the emergency services on 999 if you're trapped by floodwater.

Councils usually have arrangements for emergency evacuation and help during a flood. Contact your local council for advice and support.

Find details of your local council.

You must leave your home if you're told to by the emergency services or the council.

You could put yourself and anyone trying to help you at risk if you don't leave. Flooded houses can be dangerous because of sewage, water damaged electrics or damage to the gas supply.

Find out more from Gov.uk about help after a flood.

If you are homeless after a flood

Your council has a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation if you're made homeless by flooding,

Anyone made homeless by a flood is automatically treated as being in priority need for homelessness help.

Contact your local council for help.

Rehousing of tenants

Your private landlord isn't usually responsible for finding you somewhere else to live if you have to move out because your home is flooded.

Your landlord may have an insurance policy that pays for alternative accommodation for tenants. Contact your landlord to ask.

If you rent your home from the council or a housing association, they should provide temporary accommodation if you have to move out.

If you do have to leave your home, get your landlord's agreement in writing:

  • you had to move out due to flooding
  • you'll be able to move back after repairs are finished

You can also ask for an estimate of how long repairs will take.

Landlord's repair works

Your landlord's buildings insurance could cover flood damage to your home.

Your landlord can repair your home so that it's fit for you to live in again. This could take some time if major works are needed.

Find out about health and safety standards for rented homes.

In extreme situations, your landlord could decide not to repair a flood damaged home.

Get advice if this happens to you.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

Responsibility for damaged belongings

Your landlord isn't responsible for replacing or repairing any of your personal belongings that are flood damaged.

If you don't have contents insurance to pay for lost or damaged belongings, you might be able to get help from a local assistance fund.

Find out more about sources of cash and other help in a crisis.

Paying rent for a flooded home

Your landlord might expect you to keep paying rent for your flooded home. You must keep paying the rent even if your home is being repaired and you can use only one or two rooms.

You can ask your landlord for a rent reduction or refund.

If you can't live in your home, you can ask your landlord to suspend rent payments. Your landlord might agree you don't have to pay rent while your home isn't fit for you to live in.

Check if your tenancy agreement says anything about paying rent if your home cannot be lived in for any length of time.

Get advice if your landlord won't agree to suspend or reduce your rent payments.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

If you have to rent another home

You may have to move out of the house you rent while essential repairs are being done.

If you are still paying rent on your home, you could ask your landlord to pay something towards the cost of your temporary accommodation. Your landlord might have insurance that covers this.

You may be eligible for housing benefit or housing costs universal credit for your temporary accommodation but you can't usually claim housing benefit for more than one home.

You won't need benefits to cover the rent if your insurance company agrees to pay for temporary accommodation for you.

Find out more about claiming housing benefit and universal credit.

Homeowner's insurance help

If you own your home, you are usually responsible for any repairs your home needs due to flood damage.

Check if your insurance policies cover you for:

  • buildings insurance that could cover the costs of repairs if your home is flooded
  • contents insurance that could cover the replacement of your belongings
  • alternative accommodation if you can't return to your home because of flooding
  • legal cover and legal advice

Find out more from the Money Advice Service about flood insurance.

If you own a leasehold flat or house, check if your freeholder's insurance covers any of the repair costs. Buildings insurance should cover flood risks.

Find out more about repairs on a leasehold home.

Get advice from Shelter

Get housing advice after flooding.

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

Last updated 09 Dec 2015 | © Shelter

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