EPeak Daily

Invoice goals to forestall Texans from unknowingly shopping for flood-prone homes

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State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, on Friday filed laws that will require sellers of residential properties to inform consumers if a property is situated in a flood-prone space — and whether or not it has beforehand flooded.

Senate Invoice 339 would change a provision of the state’s property code to pressure sellers to inform consumers whether or not properties are in a 100- or 500-year floodplain or partly inside a reservoir or reservoir “flood pool” — an space subsequent to a reservoir that’s often dry however is designed to carry floodwater. The invoice additionally would require sellers to reveal whether or not the property has flooded earlier than, whether or not it’d flood below “catastrophic circumstances,” and if it’s situated inside 5 miles downstream of a reservoir.

If a vendor doesn’t disclose the knowledge, the legislation would permit consumers to terminate the contract — or sue.

At present, sellers solely must disclose whether or not a house is in a 100-year floodplain.

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The shortage of flood threat disclosure turned a serious subject in Houston within the wake of Hurricane Harvey, when householders who stay upstream from two federally-owned reservoirs realized their properties have been really designed to flood despite the fact that they aren’t situated in any designated floodplain.

Scores of these householders at the moment are suing the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers, town of Houston and Harris County in federal court docket. Many extra householders who stay downstream of the reservoirs, often called Addicks and Barker, are also suing as a result of their properties flooded after the Military Corps launched a historic quantity of water from the reservoir dams following Harvey’s torrential rains.

“One subject particularly that I’ve heard about from so many constituents who have been affected by Harvey is that they have been utterly unaware they have been susceptible to flooding,” Huffman stated in a press release. “That is only a small piece of the difficult puzzle that’s Harvey restoration and resiliency. I imagine that if handed, S.B. 339 may have an incredible lasting affect as potential householders for years to come back shall be supplied with the essential flood threat data they want for what is usually their largest funding.”

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