Understanding The Inspection Requirements Under Massachusetts Title 5

If you're shopping for, or already own, property in Massachusetts, you need to familiarize yourself with the state's Title 5 regulation. Title 5 applies to any property with a septic system and requires that there be a full inspection of the entire septic system before the property can be sold or the ownership can be otherwise transferred. The goal of this inspection is to ensure that the septic system on the property is in good condition and adequate for the property. It helps to reduce the risks of any environmental issues due to overflows. Properties that fail must undergo repairs. However, there are a few cases where the property might be exempt. Here's a look at what you should know about Title 5 exemption before you close that deal.

Getting a New Mortgage

If you already own the property and you're just refinancing the mortgage, you don't need to worry about having the septic system inspected. This still holds true even if you are refinancing with a new lender and essentially creating a whole new mortgage or even taking out a second mortgage on the house. You might think that the change in financial interest means an inspection is required, but you won't have to worry about it in this case.

Giving Property to Immediate Family

When you transfer the property to an immediate family member, like your spouse, sibling or child, the inspection is waived. You can also waive the inspection if you transfer the property into a trust if one of the beneficiaries is an immediate family member.

Making Guardianship and Trust Changes

When you assign or change the conservator, trustee or other controlling interest in the property, you can do so without the need for a Title 5 inspection. In addition, you can also alter the proportion of the controlling interest to the beneficiaries listed in the trust without having to schedule an inspection. Just remember that there must be an immediate family member in those beneficiaries at all times.

Pending Approved System Upgrades

If you have decided to sell the property to someone who isn't related to you and that buyer decides to upgrade the septic system in order to ensure Title 5 compliance, that waives the pre-sale inspection requirement. The responsibility will fall on the new owner to have a full inspection done after the work has been completed.

Any time you're buying or selling property with a septic tank in Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to understand the Title 5 laws. With this information and the help of skilled real estate attorneys, you'll be able to better understand the requirements for Title 5 inspection.