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Flooding – who does what?

Leicester City Council, Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency are Risk Management Authorities with responsibility for specific aspects of flood risk management. However, homeowners, landlords and businesses are also liable for some aspects of flood prevention and flood recovery.

Property owners

Property owners (owner-occupiers, landlords, businesses, etc) are required to insure and protect their property against flooding and to protect the welfare of anybody who lives or works within the property. Property owners should also consider taking steps to reduce the risk of flooding to minimise the effects of flooding if an incident occurs.

Property owners are liable for the maintenance and upkeep of any water, sewer or drainage pipes beneath the property, garden or driveway, and should not do anything to damage or block drains or sewers. However, Severn Trent Water also have some responsibilities for drains and sewers located on private land.

Property owners are also responsible for maintaining any watercourse within their property boundary as advised in Owning a watercourse (


Private rented, housing association and city council tenants do not need to insure or maintain their home against flood risk, as this is their landlord’s responsibility. However, it is advisable to have contents insurance to minimise the impact of flood damage to personal possessions.

Tenants are obligated to report any issues associated with flooding or flood risk to their landlord or any estate or letting agent working on behalf of the landlord.

Leicester City Council

As the Highway Authority, we are responsible for the maintenance and management of highway drainage (such as gullies and drains) to ensure roads are adequately drained. We also keep a register of highway drainage assets.

As the Lead Local Flood Authority, we are responsible for managing the risk of flooding (from surface water, ground water and small watercourses), co-ordinating flood risk management activities linked to rivers and sewers (with the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water), keeping registers of flood risk assets, and supporting community recovery from flooding.

We are also responsible (as the Planning Authority) for developing local plans, strategies and policies that set out how the city will be developed (including any restrictions and flood risk and climate change implications that may be associated with development).

We are not responsible for maintenance of watercourses we do not own.

Severn Trent Water

Severn Trent Water is responsible for the management and maintenance of all public sewers in Leicester (surface water, foul and combined). They are responsible for managing any flooding that originates from sewers and supporting the recovery for people affected by sewer flooding.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is responsible for taking a strategic overview of the management of all sources of flooding and coastal erosion and are also responsible for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service

The Fire Service will prioritise responses where there is a threat to life, or where someone is physically trapped by flood water, though are unlikely to attend if the flooding is only a few cm deep.