My issue is regarding the infamous Title V! Yuck. I am selling my condo unit, have a buyer, and have found my

Asked by Jennifer, Scituate, MA Sun Jun 22, 2008

own new home that I have signed a P & S on, and am due to close on this new home in 3 weeks! My issue is closing...there is a passing Title V on file from 2005, and since they are good for 3 years (for a condo) the condo association, (comprised of unit owners) are now due for a new Title V inspection, which may fail, because an engineer has quoted us for repair for parts of the system, such as a pumps, and possible upgrades to the leaching field, asour town has said "no" to tie into town sewer, as they believe the septic can be fixed on site. Anyway, if that Title V fails, the whole holdback issue comes in, or even if it does not fail, repairs need to be done to upgrade the system. I was told that usually1 1/2 times the amount of the entire project is heldback in escrow, in order to still close, but again, that is for a single family home, and I am selling a condo - 1 of 12 units, so I am hoping that just my portion is heldback, as I can't afford it otherwise. Negotiable w/ a bank?

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Carolyn Durk…, Agent, Scituate MA 02066, MA
Wed Aug 5, 2009
Jennifer, I agree that your first call should be to your association to elicit more specific timelines. Assuming it does not pass and assuming you are using your own attorney for your upcoming closing, I would contact him/her a.s.a.p. and send them a copy of the current condo docs. Let your atty. contact the buyer's attorney regarding this issue. Your association could decide to increase fees or bill a percentage to each unit. I don't view it as a deal breaker, but make sure you keep the buyer's in the loop on information so they feel like they are part of the process....

Carolyn E. Durkin
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Richard Power, Agent, Scituate, MA
Mon Jun 23, 2008
Jennifer, while you should consult with an attorney regarding this issue, I believe that as a condo owner, you have a "percentage interest" in the common area which would include the septic system. I would certainly argue that the holdback should be 1 1/2 times your percentage issue, not the entire cost of the repair. I'd also find out from your association when the work will be done...the sooner, the better.
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Love To Fly, Both Buyer And Seller, boston metrowest
Sun Jun 22, 2008
Septic system regulations and repairs/upgrades are usually overseen and permitted by your local Board of Health. The Title 5 is the responsibility of the seller -- however, I think in some cases you can build in the cost of the work to your sale price, and the new owner would have to take care of it (no legal expert here, but I am on my BOH). You should find out from the engineer who has provided the estimate what the costs are, and what each units share will be. Also check into the condo by-laws for your association, and see how this is handled in a sale -- it could be that the cost is passed along from owner to owner in the HOA dues, which might increase if the costs are extreme and there is not enough in escrow. I think at this current time you might have a hard time finding a lender willing to negotiate it, or since you have signed a P&S I am assuming for both properties, any kind of personal loan for the costs.

Good luck!
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