- Sellers Legal Obligations for Cape Cod Real Estate
Sellers Legal Obligations for Cape Cod Real Estate
Title V Septic
Massachusetts law requires that a property that is serviced by a septic system, cesspool or other private waste disposal system be inspected before a home is sold. A septic system has a tank, distribution box, and soil absorption system commonly known as a “leach field”. A cesspool has a pipe carrying waste from the home to a pit which distributes liquid waste.
A Title V inspection is valid for two years. It is valid for three years before the sale if you have records proving that your system was pumped annually since the inspection.
While the law does not specifically mandate that the seller is responsible for repairing a failed system, as a practical matter a buyer’s financing will usually not be approved unless a Title V certificate is obtained prior to closing.
A list of licensed inspectors and general information on Title V can be found at Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection or your local Board of Health
When Selling a Home in Massachusetts - the owner has to provide the Buyer with a Smoke Alarm and Co2 Certificate at closing.
The Fire Chief of your town will have to inspect your home and provide you with this certificate - the fee for this service varies depending on your town.
All Smoke alarms need to be in good working order, Hard Wired (depending on age of the House) and the same brand of manufacturer. Massachusetts Brought out a new law last year regarding Smoke Alarms - click on this PDF file to review the law.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Massachusetts “Nicole’s Law” requires owners of all residential properties to install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms. The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations developed the specific requirements of the law including regulations ((527 CMR 31.0) establishing the specific requirements of the law including type, location, maintenance and inspection requirements for the alarms.
Massachusetts lead paint law requires lead abatement in residential dwellings built before 1978 when a child under six resides on the property. Specifically, the law stipulates that property owners must remove or cover (encapsulate) dangerous levels of lead on surfaces measuring five feet from the floor or below. Property owners are required to disclose to homebuyers and tenants known information about the presence of lead-based paint and the hazards of lead paint prior to sale or lease being executed. Our agents are aware of all of the state and federal rules and the required disclosure documents that are mandated by law. More information and a list of certified lead inspectors is available at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The Fair Housing Law
The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to deny or restrict any person a choice of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial statue or national origin. MA. Fair Housing Law prohibits practices that deny access to housing based on age, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, status as a veteran or a member of a military service or recipient of public or rental assistance.
While filling out a Sellers Disclosure form is not the Law - we strongly encourage a Seller to fill it out as they are obligated to Disclose any known issues regarding the house.
Contact us to see sample of the Seller Disclosure form. Make sure to reference Seller Disclosure form in the email.
One Ellis Landing Rd, Brewster, Ma 02631
P.O. Box 57, Chatham, MA 02633