Natural Hazards Report Disclosure – SF Real Estate

Posted On: November 18, 2014
By: ffdadmin

The Natural Hazards/Tax Data (often called the JCP report because of a popular 3rd party provider)  is an important document to review in a disclosure package. While there are a variety of formats for a Natural Hazards report they all serve one purpose: to help the seller explain information about the land around and underneath a property.

// This post is a part of our series: Your Guide to a San Francisco Disclosure Package. //

The Natural Hazards Report is a *property specific* disclosure. While it contains a ridiculous amount of boilerplate/CYA information, it also contains important information that is specific to the property in question.

A Natural Hazards Report Summary Page from 3rd Party Provider JCP

A Natural Hazards Report Summary Page from 3rd Party Provider JCP

A natural hazards report can be completed directly by a seller, but in almost all cases sellers choose to use a report provided by a 3rd party company. PropertyID is one such company (I believe they are a captive company to Coldwell Banker, but I’m not 100% certain), and JCP-LGS is another company. In the San Francisco market you typically see a report from one of these two companies.

The natural hazard report is a statewide report which means that it covers a lot of conditions that aren’t applicable to San Francisco. The summary page (shown above) is the “cliff’s notes version” of the entire document, which is usually between 30 and 40 pages. The potential hazards disclosed in a natural hazards report include:

  • Special Flood Hazard Area
  • Area of Potential Flooding
  • Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone
  • Wildland Area with Substantial Forest Fire Risk
  • Earthquake Fault Zone
  • Seismic Hazard Zone (Landslide or Liquefaction)
  • County Level Natural Hazard Disclosure Information
  • Former Military Ordinance Disclosures
  • Proximity to Commercial or Industrial Zoning
  • Airport Influence Area Disclosure
  • Airport Noise Area Disclosure
  • Bay Conservation and Development District Disclosure
  • California Energy Commission Disclosure
  • Right to Farm Act Disclosure
  • Notice of Mining Operations Disclosure
Additional Disclosures found in a Natural Hazard Report

Additional Summary Page typically found in a Natural Hazard Report

It should be noted that there are a variety of different maps that the report provider is working with – often state, county, and city level maps. For example, in the above example while it isn’t on a state mapped earthquake fault zone, San Francisco county reports include additional detail that provides information on expected/projected ground shaking severity for an earthquake on either the Hayward or San Andreas faults.

I’ve also been told by various engineers that specialize in soils testing that the maps used in the generation of these reports are approximate. In one case, I had a client receive a natural hazards (JCP) report that said the property was in a landslide zone. We hired a soils engineer to help us better understand the risk, and using his more detailed maps he was able to show that while the property was near landslide zones, the property in question wasn’t actually in a landslide zone.

Some “bonuses” that typically come along with the natural hazard report include:

  • A property tax report that explains how property taxes are calculated, allowing you to estimate what your property taxes will be.
  • A notice of your supplemental property tax bill, which explains that most counties lag in re-assessing property values but that every county eventually catches up and when they do you will be issued a supplemental tax bill for the difference between the rate you have been charged and the rate you should have been charged.
  • Environmental Screening Report, which typically includes information about underground storage tanks that are near the property in question.

As you can see from the long list of items disclosed in a natural hazard report, it is an important document to review. It often provides information about conditions that are not readily obvious or apparent to the visible eye, so it is important to review the document and be sure that you understand the information it contains.