Flood Hazard Area Disclosure Bill Authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra Signed by Governor

Friday, October 6, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 646, a bill authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) requiring the disclosure of flood hazard zones to prospective tenants.

The bill was prompted by Assemblymember Kalra’s visit to the neighborhood of Rock Springs, which was impacted by the historic flooding of Coyote Creek this past February. The flooding forced the evacuation of more than 14,000 residents and caused at least $50 million in private property damage in San Jose. Many flood victims were renters and unaware they resided in a flood zone. As a result, many were uninformed about renters or flood insurance because prospective tenants are often not informed that the property sits in a flood zone.

AB 646 provides disclosure within rental or lease agreements to ensure that prospective tenants are aware the property sits in a flood zone and can take appropriate steps to mitigate potential impacts and make informed decisions as to whether to acquire flood insurance. The bill, supported by the City of San José, also requires the disclosure to include information on how to obtain further information on other hazards, including flooding, through the Office of Emergency Services.

“I am grateful that Governor Brown has signed AB 646 into law. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and many renters are under the misperception that their landlord’s insurance policy will reimburse them if their personal property is damaged or destroyed,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “Constituents in my district who were devastated by the flood would have benefited from this disclosure and we now have the opportunity to learn from this experience to ensure that proper notifications are made in the future.”

“Following the recent Coyote Creek floods, we heard from many tenants who were unaware that they even lived in a floodplain,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This bill is another step we can take to help renters identify potential hazards prior to signing a lease.”

Assemblymember Kalra collaborated with the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors on AB 646 to develop provisions within the disclosure that recommend tenants to consider carrying renter’s insurance or flood insurance. The bill passed the Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support.