SACRAMENTO – A bill authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) requiring the disclosure of flood hazard zones to prospective tenants was passed by the State Assembly yesterday with bipartisan support.
The bill, AB 646, was prompted by Assemblymember Kalra’s visit to areas of his district impacted by severe flooding brought on by a series of storms this winter.
“In my district, the loss was catastrophic and many of the victims impacted by the historic flooding in San Jose were not aware that their property was prone to flooding and were also uninformed about the need for flood insurance,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “Let us learn from the experiences of those affected by flooding and ensure that proper notifications are made in the future.”
AB 646 provides disclosure within rental or lease agreements to ensure that prospective tenants are aware of the threat of potential flooding and can take appropriate steps to mitigate the potential impacts and make informed decisions as to whether to acquire flood insurance.
“I was surprised to learn that even though current law requires homeowners to disclose to the buyer that the home is in a flood zone, this responsibility is not extended to residential property owners when renting their homes to tenants,” said Kalra.
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 disclosure also provides tenants with information on how to obtain further information on other hazards, including flooding, through the Office of Emergency Services.
In February 2017, a number of communities and mobile home parks along Coyote Creek in San Jose were submerged when a series of storms brought heavy rain to the area that exceeded the capacities of Anderson Reservoir and the creek. The historic flooding forced the evacuation of approximately 14,000 residents and caused $50 million in private property damage.