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Understanding the Right to Know Bill: A Guide for Residential Landlords and Tenants
The Right to Know Bill, also known as the “Flood Disclosure Bill,” is a recent amendment to the New York State Real Property Law Section 231-b. This law, which took effect on June 21, 2023, has significant implications for residential landlords and tenants.
The Impact on Landlords and Tenants
The Bill mandates that residential landlords provide explicit notice to tenants if a residential rental unit is within a floodplain, special flood hazard area, or moderate risk area as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This means landlords must now disclose the flooding risk of a unit and whether the unit has had any previous flooding incidents.
Understanding the Flood Risk
The Bill requires leases to indicate whether some or all of the unit is at risk of flooding in a 1-in-100-year flood event, as well as a 1-in-500-year flood event. These calculations are based on FEMA’s flood insurance rate maps. For more information, you can visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.
The New York State Office of Rent Administration has prepared a sample lease rider/notice, which landlords can attach to a lease. This document provides a template for landlords to disclose the flood risk and history of the leased premises. You can access the sample lease rider/notice here.
Important Tip for Real Estate Licensees
Real estate licensees should not complete the sample lease rider/notice. Instead, they should direct the landlord and/or the landlord’s attorney to do so. Tenants must be advised that flood insurance is available through the FEMA National Insurance Program, to cover personal property and contents in the event of a flood.
The Right to Know Bill is a significant step towards ensuring that tenants are fully informed about the flood risks associated with their rental units. It is crucial for landlords, tenants, and real estate professionals to understand the requirements of this law and to take the necessary steps to comply with it.
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Syd Harewood is a real estate professional with a passion for NYC’s architectural gems. For inquiries, call or message Syd Harewood at 646-535-3819. Experience the finest in NYC real estate with Syd’s expert guidance and deep knowledge of the city’s most exquisite properties.
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