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Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement

DEFINITION

Statement regarding the presence of hazardous zones nearing the property including special flood hazard areas, high fire hazard zones, flooding zones, wildlife zones, earthquake fault zones, and others.

EXPLANATION

The passage of the Natural Hazards Disclosure Act requires all brokers and sellers to disclose material facts regarding the location of a property found within a government stated hazard area. There are six type of hazards that must be disclosed on the form to buyers and their agents.

California has additional measures and methods agents and sellers are required to report. This includes vital information about a specific property and executing a standardized form with all information relating to a property. Disclosures required include when a property resides within an earthquake fault zone, is an area with unusual tsunami activity, or other specific condition as sanctioned per the local community.

Components of a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement

A Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement informs a buyer of a property’s condition and risk in relation to natural hazards. It includes information regarding the following:

State Fire / Fire Hazard Zones. A seller/seller’s agent must disclose if a property is located in an area with a high risk for fire. The government will also include information about steps required to protect the property from hazardous fire.

Earthquake Fault Zone. A seller/seller’s agent is required to disclose if a property is situated on an earthquake fault zone.

Seismic Hazard Zone. A seller/seller’s agent is required to disclose if a property is situated in a location with a high probability for shaking, landslides, and other potentially hazardous, naturally-occurring earth movements. If a property is located near the zone and the seller is unsure whether it is located in the zone, the seller/seller’s agent should visit the County Recorder’s Office to clarify the property’s status.

Wildland Area. A wildland area is uncultivated territory that is fairly removed from modern civilization. A property in such a location has an increased risk of wild animals, insects, and other potentially dangerous conditions. Furthermore, local services — including fire and police departments — are typically unavailable. For this reason, a seller/seller’s agent must disclose if a property is located in a wildland area.

Flood Hazard Zones. Flood hazard zones are areas that have a high probability of flooding. Being located in such a zone presents unique challenges and dangers to property owners. Therefore, this information must be disclosed. A seller/seller’s agent must also disclose if a property is located in a special flood hazard zone established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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