Accardo.julie, Renter in

Can you legally sell a property in New York if the septic system has a cesspool?

Asked by Accardo.julie, Wed Jun 26, 2013

We just made an offer on a house in Long Island that was built in 1928. The inspector advised us to get records for septic tank maintance. However, after doing some research online, I am concerned that te house has a cesspool which could eventually collapse. I'm wondering if it's the seller's responsibility to take care of this. They haven't budged on the price at all.

Help the community by answering this question:


Gail, the records are not available. My concern in regard to the cesspool is that it can potentially pose a safety hazard if not properly maintained. My home inspector indicated that we'll likely have to replace the cesspool because it is at risk of collapsing over time.

We're going to have a specialist inspect it and make our decision pending the results.

Thanks, everyone, for the advice!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013

it is not unusual for homes on Long Island to have a septic tank (cesspool)...I have one.

They do have a lifespan.

Are there any records indicating whether or not the cesspool was replaced at any time? Or if it has a runoff system? (Mine has two additional runoffs).

Sellers are legally responsible for leaks (roof/basement) and environmental issues. The rest of the house is sold "as is." Will you have to replace the cesspool at some time? Sooner or later, yes...if it has not been updated.

It is up to you to decide what the house is worth to you and hold to that figure...don't get emotionally tied into it; you will live with the mortgage payments for the next 30 years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
As long as the cesspool is doing it's job a seller can sell the home without upgrading. Many older homes in rural arears have this system.

When buying a home with such a system upgrading it in the future should be part of the plan. Similar to buying an old house lacking all the modern conveniences.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Keep in mind that many homes do have cesspools, therefore if you are uncomfortable purchasing such a property, search for other properties without a cesspool, or consider having it inspected yourself....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Julie, many, many homes in Long Island have cesspools. Asking a seller to "take care" of it is almost the same as asking a seller to change from heating oil system to gas. If your home inspector offers, you can also have him/her inspect the cesspool as well. This will give you a better idea of what the cesspool's condition.

Right now most markets are showing signs of picking up, and it has led to sellers being less negotiable when it comes to the price.

If my response was helpful, consider clicking BEST ANSWER!

Javier Meneses
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #23130
310 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury, NY 11797
(516) 606-9648 Cell
(631) 659-2011 Office
(516) 918-5383 Fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 26, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer