Landowners facing major disruption caused by flooding may also have to fork out for repair work on neighbouring properties, the CLA has warned.
The Association said Government budget cuts could mean the repair bill could be passed on via the Private Nuisance law.
Private Nuisance is where a defendant causes a ‘substantial and unreasonable interference with a [claimant]’s land or his use or enjoyment of that land’.
Dozens of flood alerts remain in place today (Monday) as forecasters predict a return to stormy weather on Wednesday.
The south of England is expected to bear the brunt of the unsettled conditions.
CLA member Stephen Watkins currently has 100 ha (250 acres) of arable farmland under water and believes the idea of landowners being liable for flood defences is appalling.
Mr Watkins, of Seven Stoke, Worcester said: “It is absolutely horrifying that landowners may be liable for private nuisance claims if neighbours are hit by flooding.
“We accept the risk of being on a flood plain but the lack of maintenance of waterways is the big issue. If this were carried out efficiently, less money would need to be spent on flood defences.
“If we try to carry out maintenance ourselves to help prevent flooding, we are chastised for it. If neighbouring land floods due to the defences failing on our land, we may be liable. It feels like we are getting stick from all directions.”
The CLA said that despite predictions of more extreme weather to come, government cuts to flood defence jobs will leave farmland and communities unprotected.
Landowners could be left to stump up the costs for flood defences themselves.
CLA deputy president Ross Murray added: “Landowners must be able to carry out flood defence work where needed but not so as to create an unintended liability which would be both unfair and a disincentive for action.
“The recent flooding has shown the importance of our flood defences, and it is crucial that, despite the planned cuts, the Environment Agency prioritises them.
“Defence of land is in the national interest and, in the face of these cuts, red tape must be reduced to allow farmers to protect it.”