Texas Senate Bill Would Require Homeowners To Notify Buyers If House Sits In Reservoir

Houston-area Senator Joan Huffman authored the bill, one of many filed in response to Hurricane Harvey’s floods.

A United States flag hangs outside a flooded home in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 in Houston.

During Harvey, many Houston homeowners learned for the first time that their homes were built inside a reservoir. Now, abill by State Senator Joan Huffman could help protect future home buyers from having to learn that lesson the hard way.

The bill would make it mandatory for homeowners to disclose to potential buyers whether their house sits in a reservoir or whether it has ever flooded. Daniel Gonzalez, legislative director for Texas Realtors, said it will be the first such change to the seller disclosure notice in more than a quarter century.

"We're working with not only Senator Huffman but others to ensure that whatever enhancements we make to the seller disclosure notice, that those enhancements will be, one, clearly understandable and more importantly actionable," Gonzalez said.

He said the changes will be of little use if the homeowners themselves don't know – and can't easily find out – whether their house sits in a reservoir or flood pool.

The bill has already been referred to a committee for consideration.


Paul DeBenedetto

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Paul DeBenedetto is Houston Public Media's senior web producer, writing and editing stories for HoustonPublicMedia.org. Before joining the station, Paul worked as a web producer for the Houston Chronicle, and his work has appeared online and in print for the Chronicle, the New York Times, DNAinfo New York, and other...

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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