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Residential Disclosure Law

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 is".

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 development 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.

AFFECTED PROPERTY:
  • The Residential Disclosure Law specifically governs the form of disclosures as they apply 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.)

INCLUDED TRANSACTIONS:
  • 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.

OTHER LAWS:
  • 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.

STATUATORY FORMS - The Residential Law requires:
  • 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.

RULES REGARDING DETERMINATIONS:

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.

MAP SOURCES:

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.

NO WAIVERS:

Waiver of the requirements of the Residential Disclosure Act is void as against public policy.

MORE INFORMATION:

Copies of the applicable statutes may be obtained at your local law library or from http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.



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