The devastating 2022 Queensland and New South Wales flooding event took a devastating toll on the major cities and suburbs. In just 3 days almost 1 metre of rain fell in Brisbane causing the Brisbane River to peak at 3.8 metres and the low lying areas of Brisbane to be drowned in the process. The total damage of the flood will cost Queensland 7.7 billion dollars with thousands of homes deemed uninhabitable due to flood damage and many more suffering significant but repairable damage. Most homeowners will be looking to sell up and move somewhere that isn’t flood prone if possible and to that end, it is prudent to ask whether or not disclosure of the flood history of the property is required.
Do you have to disclose if a property is prone to flooding in Queensland? How do I know if my property is in a flood zone Qld?
There is actually no specific law or rule which requires sellers or their agents to disclose whether or not a property is in a flood zone. This is because when buying a property, individuals can obtain their own flooding information by way of conducting due diligence such as asking neighbours of the flood history of the area, undertaking searches on the property and using the online Council flood mapping tools which create an overlay of flood affected areas and can generate a flood report on a specific property. However, agents and vendors alike do have a duty to not engage in deceptive or misleading conduct, meaning that is asked about the effect that a previous flooding event had on a property; they must give you an honest answer. A false answer puts them at risk of misleading or deceptive conduct for which they can be legally prosecuted.
In time it may come to pass that legislative changes are made to make flood disclosure a legal requirement as flooding events threaten to become more frequent and severe however as yet there is no requirement for a property’s flood history to be overtly advertised or disclosed by the vendor.
If you have an interest in a property that you suspect was flood effected, you can quite simply ask the vendor or their agent and they must give you an honest answer to avoid the legal consequences of misleading and deceptive conduct, and you can conduct your own due diligence using the very helpful Council flood maps and reports to generate a comprehensive flood report.
As always, your lawyer will assist you in facilitating the required searches and inquiries when purchasing any property, including ascertaining flood history where necessary. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.