A prominent London council wants rental properties to be included in the government’s Flood Re reinsurance scheme.
Westminster council says the current scheme disadvantages renters and those living in shared buildings who are often least able to pay for repairs.
In July last year, areas of Westminster experienced once-in-a-generation flash floods after a period of intense rainfall in which a month’s worth of rain fell in one day.
Maida Vale and Little Venice were mostly affected, with some residents finding their homes submerged in up to three feet of water in the space of a few hours.
A ‘major incident’ was declared by the London Fire Brigade after homes and shops in the area were destroyed.
Westminster council claims the government’s response to flooding has been insufficient and the current Flood Re - a re-insurance scheme that makes flood cover more widely available and affordable as part of your home insurance - is no use for people living in big cities.
The insurance scheme is only able to provide buildings insurance to properties in blocks of less than four flats and is unavailable for landlords letting out to tenants.
This does not help people who live in Westminster where 65 per cent of residents are renters, the council insists.
A council spokesperson says: “The damage caused by the floods in July last year was heart-breaking. It destroyed many of our residents’ homes, ruined their life-long possessions and took a personal toll on so many people who were impacted.
“We need to do more to help residents in Westminster insure themselves against the risk of future flooding.
“The government should urgently review Flood Re’s needlessly restrictive eligibility criteria so that the scheme can protect all of our residents.”
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