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Apartment built on flood plain

I bought an apartment last year and only found out recently it was built on a flood plain. I asked the Management Company of my concerns before buying and they said they had no record of flood damage despite recent evidence where the apartment where totally flooded. Is there anything I can do?

Did the Management Company deliberately or negligently mislead this listener? If so the company may be open to be sued for Negligent Misstatement.” The problem with that is that the company may not have sufficient assets to satisfy a judgment or court order for compensation.

Otherwise, it depends on whether it was a new or second-hand apartment.  If it was new it comes down to what the plans and specifications of the property said when you bought them and if there was any variation from those plans which allowed flooding.  Any property can be built on a flood plain without endangering it, provided proper drainage and damp insulation is provided. 

If on the other hand you bought it second-hand, then it would have been a matter for the engineer inspecting the property to give an opinion on it at the time as to the possibility of flooding.  Frequently however engineers’ or surveyors’ brief is simply to examine the structure of the building and not comment on the global picture regarding the entire property.

My feeling about this is that the listener would be in a stronger position if it was a new apartment that they bought.  The plans and specifications which formed part of the contract when you signed would set out the specifications and an architect’s opinion should be obtained as to whether or not they were properly followed.

It is my advice that you talk to the solicitor who acted for you in the purchase of the apartment and get the legal title and the survey report to see the hard facts concerning this problem.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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