New California Law Requires Flood Disclosure In Every Residential Lease or Rental Agreement
On October 5, 2017, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 646. This new law requires that for every lease or rental agreement for residential property entered into on or after July 1, 2018, the owner or person offering the property for rent must disclose the following information regarding the risk of flooding to the tenant:
(1) That the property is located in a special flood hazard area or an area of potential flooding, if the owner has actual knowledge of that fact.
(2) That the tenant may obtain information about hazards, including flood hazards, that may affect the property from the Internet Web site of the Office of Emergency Services. The disclosure shall include the Internet Web site address for the MyHazards tool maintained by the office.
(3) That the owner’s insurance does not cover the loss of the tenant’s personal possessions and it is recommended that the tenant consider purchasing renter’s insurance and flood insurance to insure his or her possessions from loss due to fire, flood, or other risk of loss.
(4) That the owner is not required to provide additional information concerning the flood hazards to the property and that the information provided pursuant to the new law is deemed adequate to inform the tenant.
For purposes of the new law, “actual knowledge” includes the following: (A) The owner has received written notice from any public agency stating that the property is located in a special flood hazard area or an area of potential flooding. (B) The property is located in an area in which the owner’s mortgage holder requires the owner to carry flood insurance. (C) The owner currently carries flood insurance.
The disclosures required by the new law are subject to the requirements of Civil Code section 1632, which obligates landlords engaged in a trade or business who negotiate with a residential tenant primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese or Korean to deliver to the tenant, prior to executing a “lease, sublease, rental contract or agreement, or other term of tenancy contract or agreement” for a more-than-one-month period, an unexecuted foreign-language translation of the contract or agreement.
The new law can be found in the newly created Government Code Section 8589.45.
For further information, please contact Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP at (949) 748-3600.
The law firm of Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP represents landlords, property management companies, institutional and private lenders, employers and insurance companies throughout the State of California in real estate, business and employment litigation. The information provided herein is for general interest only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice.
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