A new County law requires those seeking to rent commercial or residential properties complete a flood history disclosure form for prospective tenants. The law went into effect Monday.
“This is a simple form which can save tenants a complex headache,” said Rye guy and County Executive George Latimer. “As the cliché goes, knowledge is power. Providing greater information to prospective tenants can help them protect their property, and lives, when the forecast calls for a major storm.”
Rye and the rest of the County have often experienced major flooding, most recently due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which caused massive property damage and loss of life. The Flood Insurance Rates prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency show the relative risk associated with different areas of a community, from areas of low risk to areas identified as Special Flood Hazard Areas, commonly referred to as the 100-year floodplain. However, about 40% of all flood insurance claims come from areas outside of those Special Flood Hazard Areas. Renters are often overlooked when discussing the impacts from flooding.
A landlord’s property insurance will not cover a renter’s personal belongings, and many renters often don’t have insurance for their belongings. Renters may also may have health issues that require electric-powered medical equipment or may have mobility issues making it difficult to relocate quickly during an emergency or to relocate in the event the property they are renting is damaged. The Board of Legislators proposed and Latimer signed this Local Law (Chapter 581) to help inform and protect renters about potential impacts from flood damage and what they can do to protect themselves.
The form, along with a copy of the Law and some brochures from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be available from the County Department of Planning. If anyone has any questions about the form or the law, they are encouraged to reach out to the County Department of Planning at (914) 995-4400.