Flooding:  Could Conveyancers be considered negligent?

Flooding: Could Conveyancers be considered negligent?

The insurance industry is currently discussing a “flood levy” that could see insurance costs rise by 10 per cent for all home owners, whether they live in flood hit areas or not.  It is hoped that the rise would cover the escalating costs of the damage in the aftermath of severe flooding in many parts of the country.
Will there come a time where conveyancing solicitors are held out as negligent in cases where flood searches were not carried out at the time of purchase?
If flood searches were part of the compulsory search bundle, could this absolve conveyancers of any responsibility should the property suffer flooding in future?  As conveyancers we do have a responsibility to provide information to buyers so that they can make a fully informed decision on whether to purchase and, in this respect, surely our clients have the right to hold us responsible in some way?
Of course, conveyancers might well argue that the buyers chose where they wanted to live and it is effectively “caveat emptor”.  The issue I have with this is that they often rely heavily on all information provided by their conveyancing solicitor, what if they have not been provided with the full picture — could they have a case for negligence?  If the answer is yes this could have a knock on effect on Professional Indemnity Insurance premiums.
By the same token one could also look at developers and local authorities who allow building on flood plains — surely they too have a responsibility?
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