Special Flood Hazard Area
A Brief Explanation
California law requires the seller (if acting without an agent) or
the seller's agent to disclose to a prospective transferee of real
property if the property is located within a Special
Flood Hazard Area ("SFHA") (any type Zone "A" or "V")
as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA) pursuant
to 42 United States Code, Section 4001. Disclosure
must be made if:
a seller (if acting without an
agent) or the seller's agent has "actual knowledge" (Public
Resources Code Section 2621.9(c)(1)) that the property is located
within a special flood hazard area, OR
the local jurisdiction has
compiled a list of properties (identified by parcel) that
are within a special flood hazard area and a notice
has been posted at the offices of the county recorder,
county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies
the location of the parcel list.
FEMA is required by Federal law to
compile Flood Insurance Rate Maps identifying areas of potential
flooding. Property located within a SFHA is subject to a one percent
(1%) or greater chance of complete or partial flooding
in any given year. FEMA defines this type of flood as the "base
flood" which is more commonly known as a "100 year flood". A
100 year flood has a 26% chance of occurring during any 30 year period.
This disclosure only determines
if any portion of this parcel is located within an SFHA. To
get a determination for insurance purposes, a certified flood
zone determination should be ordered through your lender.
Federal law (42 United States Code
4001 et seq.) requires that lienholders of structures determined
to be within an SFHA have adequate flood insurance coverage in
place from either:
the National Flood Insurance
Protection Program (NFIP) which is administered by
the Federal Insurance Administration, OR
any licensed property/casualty
insurance agent or many private insurance companies that
are writing flood insurance agreements with the Federal
In communities that participate
in the NFIP, federally insured or regulated lenders require
flood insurance for mortgages and other loans secured by structures
located in an SFHA.
A parcel of property
located outside an SFHA may still be subject to severe flooding.
FEMA reports that 25% to 30% of all flood insurance claims
are from owners of property located in low to moderate-risk
areas located outside of an SFHA.
Lenders may at
their discretion require the purchase of flood insurance
even if a property is located outside of an SFHA.
For ways to
protect a house from flooding, refer to FEMA publication
312 entitled "Homeowner's
Guide to Retrofitting", published June, 1998.
Rate Maps do not identify areas of potential flooding resulting
from dam inundation and other causes.
For more information, please contact
the Federal Emergency Management Agency office or contact
them via the world wide web at http://www.fema.gov/.
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disclosure folds, the seller, the buyer, the real estate agent or
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