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Title V Certification

Commenweath of Massachusetts"Title V" refers to the environmental law in Massachusetts that govern the inspections of septic systems and cesspools. The regulation was updated in 1995 to include the following changes in property ownership or use:

  • Within 2 years before the sale of a home or transfer of title
  • When the use of a home is changed or the footprint of the home is changed
  • When the home is expanded and a building or occupancy permit is required (for example a bedroom is added)
  • Inheritance situations (for example, when a child inherits a home from his or her parent.)

Note: If weather prevents an inspection at sale of transfer, the inspection must occur as soon as weather permits, but no later than six (6 months) after the sale or transfer. All homes must also comply with Local Board of Health ordinances.

A Title V certification is not required for:

  • Refinancing a mortgage
  • If the septic was inspected within 3 years of the sale and records provide proof of annual pumping since inspection
  • Certificate of compliance within 2 years before transfer is on file with local Board of Health
  • One spouse transfers title to another spouse or title in placed in family trust
  • Subsequent buyers are bound to upgrade system or connect to municipal sewere with 2 years of transfer or sale.

Contact information: DEP Title V Hotline 800-266-1122 or 617-292-5886

Visit the web site for the Consumer Protection Tips: Septic System Inspections and Repairs.  If you own a home with a septic system or cesspool and have plans to put it up for sale, add a bedroom or convert it to a different use, you will need to have your system inspected - and possibly fixed or replaced. This fact sheet is intended to help you make the right decisions about who to hire and how to finance repairs if they are necessary."

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