March 23, 2023

Florida may require disclosure of flooding in homes for sale

TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers are expected to consider proposals that would require people selling real estate to tell buyers about whether the property has suffered damage from flooding.

The bills filed for the March session come after two hurricanes struck the state in 2022.

Sen. Jennifer Bradley, R-Fleming Island, filed a bill (SB 484) on Thursday that would set a series of disclosure requirements. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, filed a similar measure (HB 325) last month.

Under Bradley’s bill, sellers would be required to disclose information such as whether the property has endured flooding; whether the property is located in a designated flood-hazard zone; whether sellers have received federal assistance for flood damage; and whether flood-damage insurance claims have been filed.

The proposal has emerged in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which caused widespread flooding damage after hitting the state in September. Landfall came in the southwest part of the state and damage stretched to the Volusia County coast, including in Orlando.

Statewide, estimates show that Hurricane Ian is on track to be the second costliest disaster in the United States with up to $60 billion in projected insured losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Hurricane Nicole, which struck the state in November, added another $1.5 billion in losses.

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