The Louisiana Housing Corporation has released the 2016 Distressed Projects Initiative Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The NOFA is designed to provide funding to financially distressed projects awarded 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) through the 2015 LIHTC Funding Round that are located in Hurricanes Ike and Gustav designated parishes. The deadline for submitting
As property owners shift their focus to repairing the very visible water damage to buildings and other structures, they should not lose their focus when it comes to the less apparent concerns that come with engaging contractors. Entities, like the Louisiana State Contractor Licensing Board, provide a certain level of protection to the consumer; however, caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) should still always be in the back of the minds of property owners as they navigate the path to recovery. The checklist below is provided to assist in this process.
1. Contact your insurance carrier. Document all damage before undertaking repairs.
2. Hire only licensed or registered contractors.
- Residential building contractors performing work having a cost of $50,000 or more are required to be licensed by the Louisiana State Contractor Licensing Board. Such contractors are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance and commercial general liability insurance in the minimum amount of $100,000.
- Persons performing home improvement services having a cost of more than $7,500 are required to be registered with, and approved by, the Contractor Licensing Board.
- Persons performing mold remediation also are required to be licensed by the Contractor Licensing Board.
- Verify the contractor’s licensing or registration by calling the Contractor Licensing Board at 225.765.2301 or by searching the Board’s website database.
During the recent historic flood event, thousands of homes across south Louisiana were inundated with floodwater. For most homeowners, the recovery process has just begun. Information on possible funding, temporary housing, or other assistance is available from FEMA and other organizations. But if you own a flood-impacted home, you face another significant and perhaps more long-term question: What can you do now to protect the value—including the resale value—of your home? The following are a few points to consider and suggestions.
Disclosure of Flood–Related Issues
Louisiana law requires a seller of residential property to complete and provide to the prospective purchaser a property disclosure form prescribed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission (LREC).1 The LREC property disclosure form 2 includes the following questions, among many others, that must be answered by the seller:
- “Has any flooding, water intrusion, accumulation, or drainage problem been experienced with respect to land? If yes, indicate the nature and frequency of the defect at the end of this section.”
- “What is/are the flood zone classification(s) of the property?”
- “Has any structure on the property ever taken water by flooding (rising water or otherwise)? If yes, give the nature and frequency of the defect at the end of this section.”
- “Has there been property damage related to the land or the improvements thereon, including, but not limited to, fire, windstorm, flood, hail, lightning, or other property damage? If yes, were all related property damages, defects, and/or conditions repaired?”
- “Does the property or any of its structures contain any of the following? Check all that apply and provide the nature and frequency at the end of this section. . . . mold/mildew. . .toxic mold. . .contaminated drywall/Sheetrock.”
- “Were any additions or alterations made to the property? If yes, were the necessary permits and inspections obtained for all additions or alterations?”
So not only should the seller disclose flood-related issues to the buyer as a matter of good faith, the seller is required to do so by law.
1 (La. R.S. 9:3198.)
2 The LREC property disclosure form is available here. An amended version of the form will become effective on January 1, 2017; however, the amended form does not change the disclosures discussed in this article.
Note also that Louisiana law requires licensed home inspectors to describe in their inspection reports the presence of suspected mold growth if visual evidence of mold is discovered inside the home.3 A mold inspection is outside the scope of a standard home inspection; however, if the home inspector observes mold, he must say so in the inspection report.4
Past flood damage and current mold issues have the potential to negatively impact the value of your home. So what should you do?
Protecting the Value of Your Flood-Impacted Home
A key factor in protecting the value of your home will be how well you can demonstrate to prospective purchasers, appraisers, inspectors, lenders, insurers, and others that the flood-related damage was properly repaired or otherwise addressed. What you do now will impact the future value of your home. The following are a few suggested strategies:…
Like you, many of our colleagues, families, and friends have been hit hard by the recent, historic flooding in Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. Our hearts go out to all.
At such times, we can and must tap into two of our greatest strengths: our strong sense of community and our unmatched resilience. Together, we…