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Housing help if your home is flooded

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

If your home has recently been flooded you might be able get an Emergency Assistance Payment from the Welsh Government Discretionary Assistance Fund to help with emergency costs. For homes flooded during February 2020 you can get up to £1,000 to help from your council. Click here to find more information and the contact details for the council in your area.

How do I find out about potential flooding in my area?

To find out if homes in your area are at risk of floods:

  • check with Natural Resources Wales
  • sign up for free flood warnings direct to your mobile (in Welsh or English)
  • sign up to receive Twitter alerts during flooding and other major environmental incidents via @NatResWales
  • check local radio and television bulletins.

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.

If this will be difficult for you, for example if you have mobility problems, get in touch with your local council. Councils usually have arrangements for emergency evacuation and help during a flood.

If you are homeless after a flood

People made homeless by a flood are automatically in priority need and your council will have a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation.

Contact your local council as soon as possible to make a homelessness application. To find your local council, click here.

Will I 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.

What do I do if my home is flooded?

Contact your insurance company
Most companies have a 24-hour helpline you can call. The staff will tell you what you need to do to make a claim.

Clean up
Before you start cleaning up, take photographs of the damage and mark the highest level of the floodwater on your wall. This will help make your insurance claim.

Floodwater is usually dirty, and can contain sewage, chemicals and other contaminants. You’ll need to disinfect thoroughly any areas affected by floodwaters, to avoid infection. Wear protective clothing when you’re doing this.

Don’t be tempted to throw away damaged furniture, carpets and other belongings until your insurance company has given you the go-ahead.

Dry out your home
Before you move back into your home and start redecorating, your home will need to dry out completely. This may take several weeks, or even months, depending on the severity of the flooding and the materials your home is made from.

Start repairing damage and redecorating
Depending on the extent of the damage, you (or your landlord if you’re renting) may need to get a builder, structural engineer or surveyor in to look at your home and advise you on what repair work needs doing.

Homeowners must get the go-ahead from their insurers before hiring any contractors. Most insurance firms have a list of approved builders, joiners and other contractors, but you can chose other contractors if you wish. It’s worth remembering that, in the event of any dispute over the work, it’ll be easier to sort things out if you’ve hired a contractor approved by the insurance company.

Watch out for companies taking advantage of the situation and touting for business from door to door in areas hit by floods. It’s important that any contractors you hire are experienced in restoring properties damaged by flooding. They will ensure that the work is done safely and hygienically, and can offer you advice on making your home more flood resistant for the future.

Get gas and electricity systems checked
It’s very important that you get your electrical and gas systems checked by a registered contractor before you attempt to use them. Even if they appear to work, they may have been damaged by water or mud, and could be dangerous.

Repairs after a flood

If you are a tenant, your landlord will be responsible for most repairs to the property.

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.

In extreme situations, your landlord could decide not to repair a flood damaged home. Get advice if this happens to you.

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 own your own home
If you are a homeowner, you will be responsible for any repairs that are needed, as well as for replacing any belongings that have been damaged. You should have buildings insurance to cover the repairs and contents insurance for your belongings.

Can I get help paying rent for a flooded home?

If you have to move out while essential repairs are being carried out, 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 may be eligible for housing benefit or universal credit housing costs for your temporary accommodation. However you will not normally be entitled to payments on more than one home. So if you remain liable to pay rent on your normal home as well, the local council can decide which home housing benefit or universal credit will be paid for.

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 could also ask your landlord for a rent reduction or refund. Check if your tenancy agreement says anything about paying rent if your home cannot be lived in for any length of time.

Payment for damaged belongings

If you are renting your home your landlord isn’t responsible for replacing or repairing any of your personal belongings that are flood damaged.

If you don’t have your own contents insurance to pay for lost or damaged belongings, you might be able to get an Emergency Assistance Payment from the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF). For more information on the DAF, included a link to apply online, click here. You can also apply by ringing 0800 859 5924 (9.30am – 4pm Mon-Fri free from a landline) or 033 0101 5000 (local rate).

For more information on emergency financial help see our pages on cash in a crisis.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

This page was last updated on: Mehefin 18, 2020

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

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