Common Questions on Title V answered by the staff of the MAR Legal Hotline.
Q. My seller has a home with a septic system that was inspected eighteen months ago and they would like to resell the property. Do they have to have it inspected again?
A. Most likely, no. If an inspection was conducted within the applicable time frame, it may fulfill the inspection requirement for more than one transfer of title. For most properties, inspection must have occurred within two years prior to the transfer. Alternatively, if the system has been pumped on an annual basis and the records are available, then typically the inspection must have occurred within the past three years.
Q. Who must obtain a Title 5 inspection when a property is being sold and who receives the results?
A. Pursuant to Title 5, the property owner or facility operator is generally responsible for obtaining an inspection of the system by an approved system inspector. Prior to the time of transfer of title, however, the parties may contractually allocate responsibility for the inspection provided that such inspection occurs within the specified timeframe. If an inspection is required, the inspection results must be recorded on a state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)-approved inspection form and submitted within 30 days of the inspection to the approving authority, which is typically the local Board of Health.
If an inspection is not required, a system owner may perform a voluntary assessment of the condition and operability of the system, in which case the results of the inspection are not required to be submitted to the approving authority.
For more information on Title 5, visit: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/wastewater/septic-systems-title-5.html#6