Subsidence: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is subsidence?

A: Subsidence is any gradual or sudden change in the land elevation which may occur for a variety of reasons. Examples: (sinkhole, groundwater extraction, hydrocarbon compaction, surface collapse of underground mine workings or pipe leaks, buried debris, etc.).


Q: What does it mean when a property displays a green "S," indicating the subsidence might have been remediated?

A: A green "S" indicates a property our office assumes has been remediated. The HCPA assumes a property has been remediated when a permit for subsidence remediation has been completed, or a homeowner notifies our office the subsidence has been remediated. Although efforts have been made to make the subsidence information accurate and useful, the HCPA assumes no responsibility for errors in the information and does not guarantee the data is free from errors or inaccuracies. Users of this data should seek independent verification from a licensed engineer. If you have information regarding the condition of the property that is inconsistent with what is reported here, please contact the HCPA's Residential Department at 813-276-8977 or our Land Department at 813-272-6100.


Q: What does it mean when a property displays a red "S," indicating subsidence?

AA red "S" indicates a property owner has provided our office with an engineering report indicating the property has been affected by subsidence. Although efforts have been made to make the subsidence information accurate and useful, the HCPA assumes no responsibility for errors in the information and does not guarantee the data is free from errors or inaccuracies. Users of this data should seek independent verification from a licensed engineer. If you have information regarding the condition of the property that is inconsistent with what is reported here, please contact the HCPA's Residential Department at 813-276-8977 or our Land Department at 813-272-6100.


Q: When I search for my property on the HCPA's subsidence map, I do not see any history of subsidence activity associated with it. Does that mean I definitely do not have any sinkholes?

A: Not necessarily. Although no subsidence activity has been reported to the HCPA for a particular parcel, that does not guarantee it does not currently exist or did not exist at a prior time.


Q:
What should I do if I suspect my property has subsidence or a sinkhole?

A: Contact your insurance company and have an adjuster come out to look at your property promptly to determine if further investigation is warranted. Once your insurance company has been notified and an adjuster has substantiated the possibility that there might be sinkhole activity, your insurance company will arrange to have a professional engineering firm come out to your property to begin the testing.


Q:
  My yard is settling and I've noticed cracks in my driveway and patio. Do I have a sinkhole?

A:  Possibly. But several other factors can cause sinking, settling, cracks, etc. Among them are expansive clay layers in the earth may shrink upon drying, buried organic material, poorly-compacted soil after excavation work, buried trash or logs and broken pipes. All of these situations can cause depressions to form at the ground surface. If the settling is affecting a dwelling, further testing by a licensed and qualified engineer or a professional geology firm may be in order.


Q:
Is there a government agency to help fix a hole or subsidence on my property?

A: No. Subsidence on private property is the responsibility of the property owner. In some cases the owner's property insurance may cover evaluation and repair of the subsidence. Actual coverage may vary according to circumstances and insurance company policy.


Q:
  If the engineer hired by the insurance company determines that my property is affected by a sinkhole, does that affect my assessment?

A:  It might. Once you have obtained an engineering report from the insurance company, you should provide it to our office and we will review it to determine if an adjustment is warranted. For assistance, please contact the HCPA's Land Department at 813-272-6100.


Q:
  I don't have insurance on my home, what should I do if I suspect my property has subsidence or a sinkhole? 

A:  You should call a licensed engineer to investigate the problem. There are many that specialize in subsidence. 


Q:
  I have cracks in the walls of my house, which I believe might be from subsidence. Does the property appraiser’s office make an adjustment to my assessed value for conditions like this?

A:  The HCPA will adjust for adverse conditions impacting the just value of a property, whether the cause is subsidence or not.  If you suspect the cause is subsidence, you should first call your insurance company to have it investigated.

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DOWNTOWN TAMPA 
15th Floor County Center 
601 E. Kennedy Boulevard 
Tampa, Florida 33602-4932
Open 8:00am - 5:00pm / Monday - Friday

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Phone: (813) 272-6100
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About HCPAFL

The Hillsborough County Property Appraiser is an elected official charged with the duty and responsibility to appraise all of the property in the County. This includes real estate and tangible personal property (the equipment, machinery and fixtures) of businesses. 

 

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