This activity awards credits to communities for implementing measures to explain a property's potential flood hazards to prospective buyers. This lowers the likelihood that buyers will be surprised or caught unprepared in a flood event.
Disclosure of the flood hazard (DFH)
Engage real estate agents in your community to explain potential flood hazards to property buyers.
Your can receive credit for this element if the real estate agents in your community discuss the potential flood hazards of properties, as well as the need to buy flood insurance, before a lender does. Real estate agents must give notice if a property is in a floodplain, explain that flood insurance is required for properties in the floodplain, and state that areas protected by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act cannot acquire flood insurance. They must volunteer this information preemptively, before being asked.
While documentation for this element is relatively straightforward, it requires you to collaborate with and achieve buy in from real estate agents operating within your communities. A legal mandate for disclosure is not necessary to obtain credits for this element.
The written notification containing the above information, including:
- Completed disclosure forms from at least 5 real estate agencies
- If your community has a Program for Public Information (PPI), a report of the evaluation of the disclosure outreach project in the annual report
If your community does not have a Program for Public Information (PPI), you can receive up to 25 credits total. If you have a Program for Public Information (PPI), the maximum allowable credits increases to 35. There is no impact adjustment for this element.
Other disclosure requirements (ODR)
Requiring flood-related property disclosures can help keep prospective buyers in your community informed.
You can receive credit for implementing laws or ordinances that include property disclosure. The laws or ordinances can require sellers to:
- disclose their flood hazard
- require real estate agents and sellers to disclose the flood history of a property
- require landlords to disclose flood hazards to tenants
- require subdivision plans to include the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
- require that the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) information is included on deeds and mortgages
- require that titles or deed records show information on substantial improvement/damage requirements
- require signs in subdivisions that disclose the flood hazard
- require that deeds show the building elevation compared to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)
This element requires stakeholder buy-in from sellers, real estate agencies, landlords, surveyors etc…
To document work done for this element, you must provide a copy of the disclosure law or ordinance.
You can can receive 5 credits for each disclosure requirement, with a maximum credit of 25 credits. There is no impact adjustment for this element.
Real estate agents' brochure (REB)
Get points for creating and distributing a general real estate brochure alerting potential buyers to the possibility of flood hazards through the real estate agents in your community.
For this element, real estate agents must provide potential homebuyers with an informational brochure. While the brochure does not have to disclose details about specific properties, it should advise homebuyers to verify if:
- A property is in a floodplain
- A property has a history of flooding
You can receive additional credit for this element if the brochure is described in the Program for Public Information (PPI)
This element requires coordination between your community and real estate agents. The informational brochures can be generic, the same brochure can be disseminated by all real estate agencies in your community.
To document this element, you must provide: A copy of the informational brochure disseminated If your community has a Program for Public Information (PPI), a report of the outreach program evaluation in the annual report
You can receive a total of 8 credits for this element if you don’t have a Program for Public Information (PPI). You can receive an additional 4 credits (totally 12 for this element) if the brochures are included in the Program for Public Information (PPI). There is no impact adjustment for this element.
Disclosure of other hazards (DOH)
Are there other flood-related hazards that should be included in real estate disclosures?
This element builds on element 342.a Disclosure of the flood hazard (DFH). Your community can receive credit for this element if real estate agents add additional flood-related hazard disclosures to the materials disseminated for 342.a. This can include information regarding...
- Coastal wave hazards
- Erosion or subsidence
- Dam or levee failure
- Sea level rise
Element 342.a Disclosure of the flood hazard (DFH) is a prerequisite for this element.
To receive credits for this element, you must provide the documentation included in the 342.a Disclosure of the flood hazard (DFH) with the additional disclosures highlighted.
You can can receive a total of 8 credits for this element. There is no impact adjustment.
This CRS guide was produced by CRS professionals and Certified Floodplain Managers to help you navigate the Community Rating System. It is not meant to replace FEMA's official CRS Coordinator's Manual, nor should it supersede the instructions given by your ISO/CRS Specialist.
For additional resources, visit https://crsresources.org/ .