A new California law, (AB 646), effective July 1, 2018, states that all residential rental and lease agreements will be required to disclose to a tenant, in no smaller than eight-point font:
- When the landlord has actual knowledge the rental property is located in a flood hazard zone or area of potential flooding;
- That the tenant may obtain information about hazards from the website of the Office of Emergency Services;
- That the tenant needs to consider insuring their possessions, as the landlord’s insurance does not cover loss of their possessions; and
- That the landlord is not required to provide additional information about flood hazards.
A landlord is presumed to have actual knowledge their property is in a flood hazard zone or area of potential flooding when:
- a public agency has notified the landlord in writing that the property is located in a flood hazard zone;
- the landlord’s mortgage holder requires the landlord to have flood insurance; or
- the landlord currently has flood insurance
These disclosures are required to be translated into the language used to negotiate the lease if the language used was Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese or Korean.
SEC. 2. Section 8589.45 is added to the Government Code, immediately following Section 8589.45, reads:
(a) In every lease or rental agreement for residential property entered into on or after July 1,
2018, the owner or person offering the property for rent shall disclose to a tenant, in no
smaller than eight-point type, the following:
- That the property is located in a special flood hazard area or an area of potential flooding, if the owner has actual knowledge of that fact. For purposes of this section, “actual knowledge” includes the following:
- The owner has received written notice from any public agency stating that the property is located in a special flood hazard area or an area of potential flooding.
- The property is located in an area in which the owner’s mortgage holder requires the owner to carry flood insurance.
- The owner currently carries flood insurance.
- That the tenant may obtain information about hazards, including flood hazards, that may affect the property from the Internet Web site of the Office of Emergency Services. The disclosure shall include the Internet Web site address for the MyHazards tool maintained by the office.
- That the owner’s insurance does not cover the loss of the tenant’s personal possessions and it is recommended that the tenant consider purchasing renter’s insurance and flood insurance to insure his or her possessions from loss due to fire, flood, or other risk of loss.
- That the owner is not required to provide additional information concerning the flood hazards to the property and that the information provided pursuant to this section is deemed adequate to inform the tenant.
(b) The disclosures required by this section are subject to the requirements of Section 1632 of the Civil Code.
For your convenience, AOA members may download this form for FREE (#158) by visiting www.aoausa.com. Note: We have also updated our rental agreement (#101) to reflect this addendum, so please be sure to include the newest one for all of your future leases.
Patricia A. Harris is Senior Editor of the AOA Magazine.