Bill would prevent Texans from unknowingly buying homes in areas designed to flood

  • January 14, 2019
  • News

After Hurricane Harvey inundated the Houston area with rain, scores of homeowners learned too late that their properties were designed to flood. Senate Bill 339 would require such disclosures. It would also force notice of whether a home has previously flooded.

State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, on Friday filed legislation that would require sellers of residential properties to notify buyers if a property is located in a flood-prone area — and whether it has previously flooded.

Senate Bill 339 would change a provision of the state’s property code to force sellers to tell buyers whether properties are in a 100- or 500-year floodplain or partly inside a reservoir or reservoir “flood pool” — an area next to a reservoir that is usually dry but is designed to hold floodwater. The bill also would require sellers to disclose whether the property has flooded before, whether it might flood under “catastrophic circumstances,” and if it’s located within 5 miles downstream of a reservoir.

If a seller doesn’t disclose the information, the law would allow buyers to terminate the contract — or sue.

Read more from Kiah Collier with The Texas Tribune here.