Housing help if your home is flooded
- You are entitled to help from the council if you are homeless because of flooding in your home
- If you rent your home you might still need to pay rent even if you can’t stay there while it is cleaned and repaired
- You might be entitled to help from housing benefit if you are liable for rent for two properties
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.
How do I find out about potential flooding in my area?
To find out if homes in your area are at risk of floods:
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.
Will I be rehoused?
If you rent from a private landlord
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 contract-holders. Contact your landlord to ask.
If you rent from a community landlord
If you rent your home from a community landlord, 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.
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 choose 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 rent your home, 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 occupation contract 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).
For more information on emergency financial help see our pages on cash in a crisis.