THE RESIDENTIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
A Brief Explanation
SELLER OR AGENT FOR THE SELLER MUST DISCLOSE-IT'S THE LAW!
Under California Law, the seller
of real property - or the agent for the seller - must disclose "accurate
information of material fact" telling whether historical evidence
indicates that an event of natural origin is likely to affect the
desirability and value of the property, even if the property is listed "as
This report contains information about the Risk Elements which
is derived from specified Public Records. The information provided
in this report may be material in determining the condition of
the Property as well as potential limitations or restrictions on
and maintenance of the Property. A number of California statutes
apply to all real property within the State; however, California
Civil Code Section 1102 (commonly known as the "Residential Disclosure
Law") mandates the specific form of disclosures in relation to
residential real property.
The Residential Disclosure
Law specifically governs the form of disclosures as they
to "residential property" which is defined as real property
containing not more than 4 dwelling units. Certain residential
real property is excluded from the Residential Disclosure
Law such as probate sales, sales by a lender after foreclosure,
etc. (See Civil Code Section 1102.2.)
The Residential Disclosure Law
mandates certain disclosures to a party who is acquiring an
interest in residential real property whether by sale, exchange,
installment land contract, lease with option to purchase, option
to purchase, or ground lease coupled with the improvements.
The Residential Disclosure Law
does not limit or abridge any obligation of disclosure
created by other provisions of the law or which may exist in
order to avoid fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit in the transaction.
that a statutory form entitled "Natural
Hazard Disclosure Statement" can be completed and
executed by the seller, buyer and their respective agents
with respect to certain specified disclosures including Special
Flood Hazard Areas, Areas of Potential Flooding - Dam Inundation,
Very High Hazard Severity Zones, Wildland - State Responsibility
Areas, Earthquake Fault Zones, and Seismic Hazard
Zones ("Natural Hazard Zones") and
that a statutory form entitled "Local
Option Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement" be
completed and executed by the seller, buyer and their respective
agents with respect to certain disclosures if and when mandated
by local ordinance.
The Residential Disclosure Law stipulates
that if the map or accompanying information for a specific Natural
Hazard Zone is not of sufficient accuracy or scale that a reasonable
person can determine a property is located within one of these natural
hazard areas, the seller or seller's agent must mark "Yes" on
the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. The seller or seller's agent
may mark "No" on the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement
if he or she attaches a report that verifies the property is not
in the hazard zone.
Recipient(s) should be aware that
natural hazard maps available from state and local agencies may have
been produced years or decades ago. For more information on the production
and review dates of given maps, please contact your local authorities.
Waiver of the requirements of the
Residential Disclosure Act is void as against public policy.
Copies of the applicable statutes
may be obtained at your local law library or from http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.