Housing help if your home is flooded

Find out about rehousing and repair rights if your home is flooded.

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.

If you’re told to leave during a flood

You must leave your home if you're told to by the emergency services or the council. You could put yourself and others at risk if you don't leave.

Flooded houses can be dangerous due to sewage, water damaged electrics and damage to the gas supply.

Councils usually have arrangements for emergency evacuation and help during a flood.

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 as soon as possible to make a homelessness application.

Right to be rehoused

Private tenants

Your private landlord isn't usually responsible for finding you somewhere else to live if you have to move out due to a flood.

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

Council or housing association tenants

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

Repairs after a flood

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.

Your landlord must make sure the accommodation meets 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. Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person.

If you have to move out

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

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

  • 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.

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 universal credit for your temporary accommodation.

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

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.

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. Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person.

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:

  • the costs of repairs if your home is flooded

  • 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 Money Helper 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.

Last updated: 18 April 2018

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