New Jersey realtors, landlords must now disclose if properties are at risk of flooding

The law requires the Department of Community Affairs to create a new form for realtors and landlords to use to inform the public about flooding risks.

Naomi Yané

Apr 3, 2024, 2:29 AM

Updated 18 days ago

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Home buyers and renters now have a layer of protection on them when they’re in the market for a place to live.
Paul Brydeord has only lived in his apartment building in Cranford for two years. In that time he’s already lost personal items due to flooding. He’s now prepared for when it happens again.
"I have to put planks down so that the stuff that I have on the floor doesn’t get flooded,” Brydeord says.
When Brydeord moved to his apartment, landlords didn’t need to disclose the flood history. It is now mandatory, especially since the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Ida, where 29 New Jerseyans were killed by the flooding and millions of dollars in damages were incurred.
State Sen. Bob Smith was instrumental in getting this law passed. It requires the Department of Community Affairs to create a new form for realtors and landlords to use to inform prospective buyers or renters of flooding risks to a property before they become obligated to purchase or rent.
"There’s a paragraph in each the lease and real estate contract which says that you are entitled to the flood history of the property,” Smith says.
Here are some things to know from realtor Lara Rolo, of EXP Realty, if you’re looking to buy or rent a new place.
"Every single tenant really should have tenant’s insurance because even if a house…it doesn’t have to be a flood, any disaster whatsoever, a fire - your stuff needs to be protected,” says Rolo. “Short-term rentals, it doesn’t apply to, so anything 120 days or under you do not have to disclose.”
A tenant can terminate the lease without penalty at any time if the landlord fails to disclose the information and after they become aware that the property is in a flood zone.
There’s an online search tool you can use if you’re in the market, it uses mailing addresses to identify properties in flood zones. That database can be found HERE.


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