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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2016 01:55 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Flood Disclosure: Lease
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 142, amending the Landlord and Tenant Act to require disclosure of a property's flood history. In 2009, flooding damaged a 144-unit apartment complex located in Upper Moreland Township, Montgomery County leaving many residents seeking assistance. Flood waters from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 inundated another apartment complex in Upper Moreland Township causing a natural gas explosion that killed six people.

Many of the people affected by these flooding events were unaware that their residence had a history of flooding. Currently the Landlord and Tenant Act, applying to the rental of real property, does not require any disclosure.

I am amending the act to make sure that a prospective tenant is told about the property’s flood history, including the frequency and extent of flooding. The landlord shall also inform the prospective tenant that he can contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine whether the property is located in a flood plain and shall provide the address and telephone number of the nearest office of that agency. The disclosure of this information may be given in the lease agreement

The legislation applies only to residential property. Any person who willfully or negligently violates these provisions shall be liable in the amount of actual damages suffered by the tenant as a result of the violation.

Knowing the flood history of a property is not only a matter of potential property damage; it may be matter of life and death.

During the 2015-16 legislative session, SB 142 was approved by the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee.

Introduced as SB51