Title V does mean that the system has passed current standards, but you should take the time to review the inspection, understand the system in place, and evaluate it, using local experts where necessary. You wouldn't buy a house without knowing if the roof is in good shape or not, and a septic system works the same way. Unlike a roof though, you can't "see" it, and I think it's this unknown quality of septic that gives buyers pause. It's an important - and expensive - system for you house, so you should carefully evaluate it. It's not necessarily straightforward either - "old" is not necessarily "bad" and "new" is not necessarily "good", although I have found that some people are quick to race to those determinations.
Matt Heisler is a real-estate professional and owner of Heisler & Mattson Properties. He has been selling residential real-estate for over 10 years. He has given several talks on real estate, including presentations on first-time buyer tips & tricks, and profiting in real estate investing in Massachusetts. As a Vanderbilt University alumnus, he is proud to serve the communities of Natick, Framingham, Medfield, Millis, Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough, Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, Marlborough, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Milford, Charlton, Northbridge, Sutton, Hudson, Sudbury, , Clinton, Boylston, and West Boylston. His company website can be found at http://www.bjheisler.com, and his Metrowest Blog can be read at http://HomeSellingInMass.net.
*All information is posted in good faith and is assumed to be reliable, but may rely on third party information sources.
It means the property is on private sewer and the owner already had it inspected so they have the Title V inspection report in hand for the new home buyer.
if you have private sewer system, your water bill is very low. People with private sewer opt for a swimming pool more often, than those with public one. You just need to pump the system regularly. There are also different opinions on how often you should pump, it depends on how many people are living in the house, and how much you use water and all. If you compost a lot, and don't have a disposal (generally, not recommended with a private sewer), you need to pump less often.
All of my collegues below have provided great information. Additionally - based on your particular circumstances you can visit the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Title 5 website to download forms, find out what the fees are, check on variances, etc. Here is their website:
If you need any assistance with this feel free to call.
Mike gives some great information, but additionally Title V was passed into law in 1978 to protect banks. The banks were having issues where home owners were buying homes that had septic systems that were not functioning and then the new owners did not have the funds to repair the problem. Now all homes in MA that have a septic system are required to have a title V inspection if there is bank financing involved. You can convey a property without a title v if the deal is a cash transaction.
All the best and if you need further assistance please visit my website.
Title V is a state law designed to protect our drinking water. Whenever a property changes hands it needs to have the septic treatment system inspected for function and compliance with design standards. The inspector must be licensed and submits a "certificate of compliance" to the local board of health for public access. The board of health does nothing more than maintain a list of approved inspectors and keep the certificates in folders or on computers. When buying a property that has a septic system, have your home inspector review the "certificate" and give you their opinion if you should conduct your own inspection (it will be at your cost). For example, the law does not require that the system is pumped-out for an inspection, but a certificate without a pump-out might be of questionable value. As the cost to replace a system can run $8-14k if conventional or up to $35k if exotic, it's a major "buyer beware" item.
Sudbury & Wayland are all septic systems - surrounding towns also have them; though not exclusively.
Hope this helps!
Any other questions, please feel free to contact me:
Prudential Stephan Realtors
400 Boston Post Road
Sudbury, MA 01776
It looks like your question has been answered regarding "Title V". You can read more about it and learn about private septic systems...which are more common than not in Sudbury and many surrounding towns...by visiting the Massachusetts Government website at
I see you are from Watertown. My experience in working with consumers who have relocated from the city to the western suburbs is that they are intimidated by the thought of private septic...and private wells while we're at it!
My SHORT ANSWER is that there is no need for concern! Just think of the savings you will enjoy with NO sewer or water charges!!!!!
Feel free if you want to talk about it further!
RE/MAX Signature Properties
If a seller has a Title V in hand, it means they have already had the septic system inspected and it Passed... thereby meeting current standards.
Associate Broker, Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230