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Property level flood resilience grant scheme FAQs

Question 1: What is the Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme for?

The Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme is a one-off government grant scheme to help fund additional flood resilience or resistance measures for homes and businesses that have been flooded and help ensure people get the best possible deal for flood insurance in the future. The grant scheme in Eden district is being administered by the District Council.

Resistance measures are those designed to keep the water out and resilience measures are internal modifications intended to reduce the cost of any damage from flood water.

Question 2: What type of properties are eligible for a grant?

The funding applies to properties flooded as a result of Storm Desmond and Storm Eva (3-11 December 2015). The owners of the following premises are deemed eligible for the scheme.

  • Residential properties (including accommodation such as static caravans where they are defined as the primary residence on the electoral roll) where habitable internal areas of the premise has been damaged by Storm Eva and Storm Desmond. For rented properties the landlord (or property owner) will needed to apply for the funding.

  • Owners of second homes where habitable internal areas of the premise has been damaged by Storm Eva and Storm Desmond are also eligible to apply.

  • Businesses (including social enterprise and holiday let accommodation) and charitable organisations properties where internal areas of premises which are critical to the day-to-day operations (for example: not storage sheds or warehouses) have been damaged by Storm Eva and Storm Desmond.

The grants are intended only to fund measures which improve the property's resilience or resistance to flooding.

Question 3: What definition of a 'flooded property' is used to determine grant applications?

The Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme's criteria uses Defra's National Flood Emergency Framework definition to determine if a property has flooded internally:

  • Where water has entered the property;
  • Basements and below ground level floors are included;
  • Garages are included if in the fabric of the building. Garages adjacent or separate from the main building are not included;
  • Includes occupied caravans and park homes, but not tents

Question 4: How much is the grant and who is it paid to?

Grants of up to £5,000 are available, depending on whether sufficient appropriate resilience or resistance measures can be put in place.

Grants will be payable to the person responsible for the fabric of the property, normally the property owner. Individuals should be made aware of the potential benefits of pooling their grants with neighbours in order to carry out larger scale flood protection and resilience work where appropriate to more than one property.

Where grants are combined, a flood risk report/survey will be required to support the application (see Question 14 for details about flood surveys). Property owners working together to protect properties from flooding can form a Flood Action Group.

For flats, normally only one £5,000 grant will be available for each ground floor property.

Question 5: Who do I contact to find out if I am eligible to apply?

Owners of properties that have been flooded who think they may be eligible for a flood resilience grant, should contact our Customer Contact Centre to find out what steps to take next (see contact details at Question 16).

Grants are intended only to fund measures which improve the property's resilience or resistance to flooding (See Question 11 for the difference between resilience and resistance measures), over and above repairs that would normally be covered by insurance.

Where resilience repairs can be provided at the same cost as standard like-for-like repairs, insurers should act to encourage take-up as part of the standard reinstatement process.

See Question 14 for the kind of measures that might be suitable for your property and the indicative costs.

Question 6: How will the grants be paid?

The Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme is being administered by the district councils in Cumbria. In Eden district, decisions in each case on whether to provide a grant, and how much, will be made by Eden District Council.

Grants will be payable to the person responsible for the fabric of the property, normally the property owner. Grants will be paid once the agreed works on any property are complete. Property owners must then send copies of any invoices for the works undertaken to the Council, who will then send the grant payment to the property owner for payment of the contractor's invoice.

In order to reduce the risk of fraud, the property owner will be asked to subsequently produce receipts or invoices confirming the work has been carried out. Ideally, grant application forms should be submitted and approved in advance of committing expenditure. If applications are retrospective, there is a risk to the homeowner that costs may not be eligible.

Local authorities will work closely with the insurance sector to ensure that there is a clear process to enable the delivery of the grant payments.

Question 7: Can grants be paid upfront to property owners?

Grants will only be paid to property owners on completion of the works. The property owner is required to submit an invoice to the Council showing that any work is complete. Then the Council can make a payment to the property owner so they can settle the invoice.

Question 8: If I own more than one property is there a limit to the number of applications I can make to the Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme?

The grant is for each property flooded.

Question 9: I have already fitted my property with flood resilience or resistance measures following the December 2015 floods; does the Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme allow retrospective applications?

Property owners can make a retrospective application but they will still be required to meet the grant criteria for the application to be approved.

Question 10: What isn't covered by the Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme?

The grant funding is for the impacts of flooding from adverse weather conditions and not, for instance, from the failure of water mains, internal water systems, or the failure of a sewerage system (unless the failure was itself caused by the adverse weather conditions). As a guide, the definition of a flood from Section 1 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010

  1. "Flood" includes any case where land not normally covered by water becomes covered by water.

  2. It does not matter for the purpose of subsection (1) whether a flood is caused by -

    1. heavy rainfall,

    2. a river overflowing or its banks being breached,

    3. a dam overflowing or being breached,

    4. tidal waters,

    5. groundwater, or

    6. anything else (including any combination of factors).

  3. But "flood" does not include -

    1. a flood from any part of a sewerage system, unless wholly or partly caused by an increase in the volume of rainwater (including snow and other precipitation) entering or otherwise affecting the system, or

    2. a flood caused by a burst water main (within the meaning given by section 219 of the Water Industry Act 1991

Question 11: What can the grant be spent on?

Grants are intended to fund additional measures over and above the costs of repairs that would normally be covered by insurance.

Grants are not intended to cover standard repairs or to provide compensation. They must be used only for improvements to the fabric of the premises that will reduce the impact and cost of subsequent flooding on the property.

Where a number of properties having been affected by flooding, property owners are being encouraged to work together (forming a Flood Action Group) and pool their grants in order to carry out larger scale flood protection and resilience work.

Where grants are combined, a flood risk survey/report will be required to support the application (see Question 14 for details about flood risk reports/surveys).

Undertaking flood resilience measures:

Where resilience repairs are required such as raising the height of electrical sockets or a central heating heat boiler, it is preferable to have work carried out at the same time as your insurance company's standard reinstatement repairs.

To arrange this contact your Insurance Company's Loss Adjuster so they can provide advice on the type of resilient measures suitable for your home. These can then be priced up as part of the work to restore your property, with a quote provided by your insurance company's preferred supplier for the resilience measures required. This quote can be included with your grant application.

Any approved work will then be paid for once completed and after the we receive an invoice for the insurance company's preferred supplier from the property owner.

Undertaking flood resistance measures:

These are measures designed to keep water out of a property such as a flood board, air brick cover or flood barricade. Generally, resistance measures can be installed once your property standard reinstatement repairs have been carried out.

Two quotes are required from different suppliers from any flood resistance products you wish to purchase using a Property Level Flood Resilience Grant. These quotes should be included with your grant application.

Once your application is approved and any measures are purchased and installed as required, the property owner should send the appropriate invoice/s to the Council so the local authority can release the grant monies to the property owner to pay the invoice/s.

Question 12: Before installing any flood resilience or resistance measures to my property do I require Building Control Approval or Planning Permission?

Building Control Approval

Any like for like repairs to a flooded property do not require Building Control Regulations Approval in Eden district. But if you are for example, replacing a damaged wooden floor with a concrete one; measures such as this will require Building Regulations approval. If in doubt or in need of advice contact Building Control:

Planning Permission

If you property is located in a Conservation area or has Listed Building status it is advisable to check with Development Management before undertaking any work on your property to find out if planning approval is required. For advice

The Duty Planning Officer is available from 10am to 1pm Monday to Friday for advice at Mansion House in Penrith.

If your property is located in the Lake District National Park, their Duty Planning Officer is available from 9.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday

Environment Agency Consent

If your property is located near to a riverbank or waterway you may need Environment Agency consent for any measures you are seeking to put in place. To find out more information:

Question 13: If my property has an NHBC warranty is the Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme still applicable?

Check the terms and conditions of your property's NHBC warranty to see what is covered. Before making an alterations to the fabric of your property you should check with the NHBC to ensure any flood resilient or resistance measures you are looking to install don't invalidate your warranty. For more information contact the NHBC:

Question 14: Where can I get advice about which flood resilience or resistance measures are appropriate for my property?

It is strongly advised by the National Flood Forum to get a property survey that looks at water ingress into your property before you invest in flood resilience measures.

There are a number of ways to obtain advice about what the best measures flood resilience or resistance measures to fit to your property.

Insurance Company Loss Adjuster

Can provide advice about the flood resilience or resistance measures that are best suited to your property.

Get a Professional Flood risk report/survey of your property

A specialist flood surveyor (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) can produce a flood risk report/survey for your property to identify the types of measures most appropriate to improve its resilience. The reports usually cost around £500.

To find a specialist flood surveyor you can visit Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors - Find a Surveyor web page or telephone: 0247 686 8555.

Specialist flood surveyors working locally in Cumbria

Property Care Association

You can also contact the Property Care Association, a trade association representing specialists who can be trusted to resolve problems affecting buildings. For more information:

Environment Agency

Environment Agency web pages have advice on how to make your property more flood resilient.

National Flood Forum

National Flood Forum is a national charity which supports and represents communities and individuals at risk of flooding - telephone 01299 403055.

A good starting point to understand flood risk is the charity's website www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk

This sets out a step-by-step process for property owners and links to a wide range of other sources of information, including the Blue Pages, the UK's leading independent flood directory - which list a range of flood resilience products and service providers: www.bluepages.org.uk

The Property Protection Adviser gives guidance on the kind of measures that might need to be fitted and their likely cost. You will be asked a few simple questions about your property and will receive a tailored report that takes into account the age and type of property.

An indicative list of flood resilience measures is available below. For eligible properties, any measure recommended by the Property-Protection-Adviser report, or that are included in the list will automatically qualify for Repair and Renewal Grant funding. Where appropriate, we recommend that homeowners use products that carry the BSI kitemark for flood protection products (PAS1188) or similar standards.

Local Supplier: JTA Flood

JTA Flood are local flood protection specialists and have worked with us and the Environment Agency before on flood protection schemes for local households. Contact:

An indicative list of possible flood resilience measures and costs:

Property level measures Description of Measure/Type of Flood risk? Indicative cost range £
Professional Survey of Premises to Identify Flood Risks (can be undertaken prior to RRG application to identify most appropriate measures and up to £500 of costs applied for retrospectively). Professional survey undertaken to identify property flood risk, and identify appropriate resilience and / or resistance measures. Up to £500 including VAT
Flood Risk Report. Professional Flood Risk Report can be commissioned after resilience and / or resistance measures fitted to inform any future works, and/ or to submit to insurance companies to demonstrate action taken / level of future risk.  
Airbrick Cover. Watertight cover for airbricks. 20-40
Self-closing airbrick. Replacement airbrick that automatically closes to prevent flooding. 50-90
Sewerage Bung. Inflatable device to insert in U-bend of toilet to prevent sewage backflow. 30-50
Toilet Pan Seal. Seal to prevent sewage backflow 60-80
Non-return valves 12mm overflow pipe Valve prevents backflow through overflow pipe. 70-110
Non-return valves 110mm soil waste pipe. Prevents backflow through soil waste pipe. 550-650
Non-return valves 40mm utility waste pipe. Valve prevents backflow through waste pipe. 80-120
Silicone gel around openings for cables. Prevents flooding through openings for cables to access properties. 80-120
Water resistant repair mortar Water resistant mortar used to repair walls and improve future resistance. 80-120
Re-pointing external walls with water resistant mortar. Improve water resistance through using water resistant mortar to re-point walls. 150-250
Waterproof external walls. Membrane fitted to make external walls water resistant? 200-400
Replace sand-cement screeds on solid concrete slabs (with dense screed). Dense water resistant screed to replace sand cement screed. 670-740
Replace mineral insulation within walls with closed cell insulation. Replacement of wall insulation with water resistant insulation. 720-800
Replace gypsum plaster with water resistant material, such as lime. Replace existing plaster to water resistant material in property. 4,280-4,740
Sump Pump. A pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin. 400-600
Demountable Door Guards. Guard fitted to doors to resist flooding. 500-900
Automatic Door Guards. Door guards that automatically close to prevent flooding. 1,000-2,000
Permanent flood doors. Permanent door (rather than demountable) which is flood resistant.  
Demountable Window Guards. Guard fitted to window to resist flooding. 500-900
Septic tank resistance or resilience measures. Septic tank resistance or resilience measures such as isolation valves and venting above flood level.  
Resilience protection through external walls/ measures within overall boundary of property. Additional resilience measures within overall boundary of property.  
Replace ovens with raised, built-under type. Additional resilience measures within overall boundary of property. 700-780
Replace chipboard kitchen/bathroom units with plastic units. Fit plastic kitchen and/ or bathroom units to minimise water damage. 5,000-5,520
Move electrics well above likely flood level. Rewiring of electrics (such as socket points) above flood level. 760-840
Mount boilers on wall. Raise boiler above flood level. 1,080-1,200
Move service meters above likely flood level. Raise service meters above flood level. 1,620-1,800
Replace chipboard flooring with treated timber floorboards. Replace floor (including joists) to make water resistant. 920-1020
Replace floor including joists with treated timber to make it water resilient. Replace floor including joists with treated timber to make it water resilient. 3,490-3,850
Install chemical damp-proof course below joist level. Install damp proof course to resist groundwater flooding. 6,250-6,910
Replace timber floor with solid concrete. Replace wooden flooring with concrete. 8,210-9,070

Question 15: How can I avoid rogue traders?

If you're looking for a tradesman but don't know where to start, the Federation of Master Builders suggests you follow these guidelines to make sure you get the right person for the job.

Recommendation

  • Ask for references and names of previous clients. Speak to them and look at their previous work, if possible.

Deal with an established firm

  • Make sure they have an office address, telephone number and use headed notepaper.
  • Check they are a member of a reputable trade association, and if VAT is being charged, make sure there is a VAT number shown.

Be clear about what you want

  • Get a written specification and estimate.
  • Agree any stage and final payments before work starts.
  • Get more than one estimate.
  • Avoid changing your mind halfway through a job - it usually costs more and causes delays.
  • Ask for an insurance-backed warranty for the work.

What to look out for

  • High pressure sales people from so-called specialists.
  • Do not sign anything you have not read or do not understand.
  • Advance payments, particularly at the start of the job, should be avoided.
  • Demands for cash payments. You are only fuelling the black economy and putting yourself at risk from rogue traders.

What to do if things go wrong

  • Speak to your builder if you think things are not right. Try and resolve problems quickly, do not let them fester.
  • If your builder does not sort things out after you have spoken to them, put your complaint in writing.

If there are still problems, get further advice. Depending on the problem, consult a solicitor, the Citizens' Advice Bureau, Trading Standards, Building Control or Trade Association.

Question 16: How do I apply?

The Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme application form a and eligibility criteria are available on the Property Level Flood Resilience web page. For hard copies:

Completed application forms should be returned to us by:

  • Email to: customer.services@eden.gov.uk
  • Post to: Property and Contracts Manager, Eden District Council, Mansion House, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7YG.

No closing date has currently been set applications to the Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme.

Notes:

  • Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these FAQs is up to date. They will be updated as and when more information becomes available.
  • The listing of products, goods or services in this document is not construed as having a Council endorsement or recommendation of any of the goods, products or services featured.
  • A summary of the information contained in this document is available in alternative formats or languages upon request by calling: 01768 817 817 or by emailing: customer.services@eden.gov.uk