Bill Would Require Disclosure of Texas Property in Floodplains, Reservoirs

Eighteen months after Hurricane Harvey, Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that mandates full disclosure of floodplains and reservoir properties to potential buyers.

Senate Bill 1220 requires certification from a surveyor or engineer describing any part of a neighborhood within a floodplain, flood pool or reservoir.

“I think what Sen. Bettencourt is trying to do is if you are in one of these flood prone floodplains, they're going to make a requirement, but to have a surveyor be required to give you a certification, that's a money grab,” says Houston realtor Michael Weaster.

Houston realtor Michael Weaster calls it somewhat redundant.

“In a seller's disclosure statement there is a specific question about flooding, 'Has this property ever flooded?,'” he says. “If they find out they lied, they can go after them for triple damages for deceptive trade.”

Thousands of flooded homeowners claim they were unaware they lived within Addicks and Barker reservoirs before the Army Corps of Engineers released water into their neighborhoods in the days after Harvey.

“Having a developer go in and say here's your certification, number one is it going to work because the area is already developed? And number two, the flood maps change,” says Weaster.

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