A newly implemented law in New York mandates full transparency from home sellers regarding the flood risks associated with the properties they are selling. The legislation, signed into law on September 22, enhances the Property Condition Disclosure Statement, requiring sellers to provide detailed information about any flood risks related to the residential properties on sale. This modification aims to inform potential homebuyers fully, allowing them to make well-informed decisions regarding what could be one of their most significant financial investments.
Prior to this law, sellers were obliged to inform buyers about potential hazards in a home, such as the presence of asbestos, lead plumbing, and hazardous waste, but flood risks were not part of the mandatory disclosure. Sellers had the option to forgo flood disclosure by choosing to offer buyers a $500 credit at closing.
The new law eliminates this opt-out clause and mandates sellers to disclose if the property is located in any designated flood risk areas, including FEMA floodplains and special or moderate-risk flood hazard areas, and if it is legally required to have flood insurance. They must also reveal if any flood damage claims have been filed or if government assistance for flooding has been received by current or previous owners.
For further information on the disclosure requirements, interested parties can refer to Senate Bill S5400 on the New York State Senate’s website.
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