What You Should Know About the New Sea Level Rise Disclosure Requirements

On May 1, 2022, Hawai‘i REALTORS® will publish its May release of standard forms, including a revised Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement (SRPDS). There are new requirements for sea level rise disclosures due to the passage of Act 179 that go into effect on the same day of the release.

Hawai‘i REALTORS® has worked with the UH Center for Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience, Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, and the State’s Office of Planning & Sustainable Development to create materials that explain the new disclosure requirements.

Special note for sellers who accept offers before Sunday, May 1, 2022 but who intend to close their sale on or after that date: If your property is in a sea level rise exposure area, strongly consider disclosing that information to the buyer now. Either include the disclosure on a Blank Addendum that you submit with your completed Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement (SRPDS) or, if you have already submitted your SRPDS to the buyer, complete a Blank Amendment to the SRPDS that includes the exposure disclosure and submit that to the buyer. Disclosing early may avoid delayed or canceled closings.

Disclosing early is particularly important for sellers intending to close on Monday, May 2, 2022. If a property’s location in a sea level rise exposure area is information that would “directly, substantially, and adversely” affect the property’s value, then the seller’s deadline to disclose is Friday, April 29, 2022 at noon. And, even if the seller makes that deadline, the buyer has the statutory right to delay the closing to consider the disclosure and, if they so choose, rescind the contract.