Implement a natural hazards disclosure law in Texas.
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Thousands of Texans have purchased property without knowledge of the flooding risks involved. The seller or developer did not reveal the risk of flooding or dam inundation to the buyer. That is because the seller is not required to reveal this information currently under Texas state law.
The documentation provided during closing has proven to be grossly insufficient. The documentation is often provided in the form of a plat, which requires knowledge of surveys and real estate law to interpret. (Often, the plat is not presented at all). As a result, many buyers did not purchase FEMA flooding insurance in advance, because they are completely unaware of the risks.
And as a consequence, many thousands of Texans have been financially wiped out, after their homes were destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and other recent floods. Many Texans will be forced to sell or abandon their homes as a result, and lose their life savings. Whole communities along the Texas Coast have been devastated, and some may never recover.
It is therefore time for Texas to implement a Natural Hazards Disclosure Law. This law will require a home seller to reveal the nature of the flooding risks to the buyer, at closing. Several states, including California, already require similar disclosures to occur during closing:
This document must be signed by both buyer and seller at closing. The document must be prepared by the seller, or his agent.
This legal requirement will stop the forms of abuse we have scene in the Texas real estate market for decades. And it will prevent more heartache and loss for hard-working Texans.
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