When the Flood Insurance Rate Maps show that your structure lies in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), an Elevation Certificate can tell to what elevation your structure was built in relation to the required elevation for that SFHA.
Elevation Certificates are required for all new construction and substantial improvements to a structure. An Elevation Certificate is an important document for a property owner to have. The Elevation Certificate is used for determining accurate flood insurance premiums and determining compliance with elevation requirements.
If an Elevation Certificate shows that your structure is lower than the required elevation for the SFHA, the structure will be subject to the so-called "50% Rule". This rule means that if your structure is in a SFHA and is damaged and/or improved to an amount greater than 50% of its market value, over a one-year period, it will have to be raised to meet the current elevation requirements. Structures that are below the required elevation were most likely built prior to the adoption of FIRMs or were subjected to a FIRM change.
Pasco County has been collecting the Federal Emergency Management Agency Elevation Certificate from builders/developers since November 18, 1981 as a requirement of their building permit.
Elevation Certificates Database
Pasco County maintains a database listing all Elevation Certificates (PDF) on file. To find an Elevation Certificate it is best to search by the Parcel Identification Number (available from the Property Appraiser website) as street names may have changed.
Obtaining an Elevation Certificate
If the structure was issued a building permit after November 18, 1981 and was determined to be within a SFHA, you may be able to find on the Pasco County database listing (PDF) that there is an Elevation Certificate on file with Pasco County. To obtain a copy of the Elevation Certificate you can send the request to Floodplain Information, or contact Building Construction Services. A nominal fee may be charged.
If the structure was issued a building permit prior to November 18, 1981, was determined at the time of construction to not be located within a SFHA, or has never been substantially improved or experienced substantial damage, you will need to contact a surveyor to obtain an Elevation Certificate.