BEAUMONT, Texas — Flooding is a major problem in Southeast Texas, and a new law will go into effect on January 1 that will require Texas landlords to notify renters of flood risks.

Those nuisance storms somehow can cause big trouble for many who live in flood-prone areas people like Beaumont resident Robert Stringer.

For the last five years, he’s dealt with flooding at his apartment complex.
This new law makes it mandatory for landlords to inform potential tenants if the property has flooded within the last five years.
“There were several of those major incidents and those freak storms that come through Beaumont as well and dump inches and inches of rain in such a short period of time, so multiple storms and incidents,” Stringer said.

Before signing his lease at Settler’s Cove, he said he wasn’t made aware of potential flooding. He said that information could have changed his mind.

“It would have been very beneficial because it was some freaky 3-inch rains at night at 3 a.m. that when I first my car first got flooded,” Stringer said. “I am thinking ‘oh well nothing is going to happen,’ and I wake up and there is water in my car.”

Texas House Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) wants to fix that. He said this law will empower renters.

“So, if it’s flooded once in the last five years or live in the 100-year flood plain, the landlord has to give you in writing notification that your home that you are about to rent or lease and put your family in has the propensity to flood,” Walle said.

This new law only applies to leases signed after January 1, 2022. It doesn’t apply to already signed leases.

Stringer is still locked into his lease, but he shared this advice for people who are considering renting in the new year.

“Watch the weather, take what they say as advice, and make your own decisions based on Southeast Texas,” Stringer said.
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