How to Remove Property From a Flood Zone

Ron Sardisco

Most real estate lenders require that a property location is checked against the maps published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If the loan is made under one of the Federal loan programs, the review is mandatory.

Any property located in an area labeled A or AE is considered to have a 1 percent annual chance of being flooded, or within the 100-year flood plain. Even if only one small part of the property is affected, the lender will require you to purchase flood insurance.

The maps are not perfect and errors are made. Often a developer will raise the base level of land above the flood plain after a map was issued, and this change may not be reflected for ten years or more in the federal map. It is possible to remove your property from the hazardous zone if one of these situations is applicable. The ultimate objective is to receive a letter of map change (LOMC).

  1. Review the most current Flood Insurance Map online or at your local building department. Ask if an LOMC has already been issued for the property. If so, you may submit that to your lender and you are finished.

  2. Download and complete the MT-EZ application with the legal description, latitude and longitude, construction information as well as the date of any other changes that would affect the elevation above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) on the map. If the change in elevation is due to fill, the MT-1 form will have to be completed by the municipality.

  3. Engage the services of a surveyor or engineer to complete the elevation certificate certifying that the land is now above BFE.

  4. Submit the application with the required documents listed above to the LOMC Clearinghouse whose address appears on the last page of the application.