“Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Affidavit Required from Connecticut Home Sellers”

 “Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Affidavit Required from Connecticut Home Sellers”
smoke detector 
There are so many new requirements that will go into effect on a State and Federal basis starting January 2014 and this one is specific to Connecticut home sellers. As I speak to many of my Realtor partners, they are not aware or know very little about this law that goes into effect.  
 
 
Below is a brief description of Public Act 13-272. Attorney Bill Nathanson was kind enough to share the information. If you need any further information please contact him at 203 314-3034.  
 
AFFIDAVIT REGARDING SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS NOW REQUIRED FROM SELLERS
Effective January 1, 2014, subject to certain exemptions, sellers of one- or two-family residential dwellings are required to provide a buyer "prior to transferring title," an affidavit which, for the purposes of this Note, we will call a Smoke Detector Affidavit or an "SDA."   A seller who fails to provide this affidavit is obliged to credit the buyer with $250 at closing.
Public Act 13-272, regarding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, is reprinted immediately below. A suggested form for the SDA, adopted by the Real Property Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, is available here.
We are also providing in this Note a link to the report of the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research pertaining to the interpretation of the Act and a link to a brief review of the Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island laws governing smoke detectors in residential property.
The purpose of this Note, however, is not only to set out the Connecticut statute and the SDA but also to discuss the role of the seller's attorney in preparing and executing the SDA. The statute merely provides that the SDA must be given "prior to transferring title," and neither establishes a date when the SDA must be given "prior to transferring title" nor sets forth who shall prepare the affidavit. As a matter of common sense, the SDA can only be prepared by the seller, the seller's real estate agent or the seller's lawyer.
Since the statute gives no definitive guidance, our suggestion is that the SDA should be prepared and executed under the guidance and supervision of the seller's lawyer. We recommend the seller's attorney take the following steps after engagement:
  • Immediately contact the Assessor's office or the Building Department of the town in which the property is located to determine the month, day and year the building permit for new occupancy was first issued. The month and day are important because the statute exempts dwellings for which a building permit for new occupancy was issued after October 1, 2005. If, for example, such a permit was issued September 28, 2008, then only Section A of the SDA must be completed. Note that the SDA MUST be completed, executed and delivered even though the dwelling is exempt.
  • If the permit was issued prior to October 1, 2005, but after October 1, 1985, then the seller can skip the portion of the SDA dealing with smoke detectors, but must complete the carbon monoxide detector portion.
Our recommendation that the seller's lawyer assume the responsibility of preparing the SDA is based on the belief that the SDA will become a core seller-prepared closing document in the same way the title insurance affidavit, 1099B, Certificate of Non Reporting and FIRPTA affidavit have become standard closing documents prepared by the seller's lawyer. Furthermore, in the event the seller does not have a real estate agent, the responsibility to comply with the statute falls upon the seller's attorney by default. 

It is recommended that attorneys advise their clients, prior to signing, of the potential for post-closing liability which may arise from providing the SDA.  Some clients may elect to pay the $250.00 rather than expose themselves to such liability.

image courtesy of foto76/freedigitalphotos.net

 

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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

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18 commentsJoe Petrowsky • December 16 2013 09:38AM

Comments

My goodness I am wondering if Tennessee is thinking of doing this. I recommend to my buyers to get carbon monoxide detectors to stay safer.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Prudential PenFed Realty, "The Real Debbie Reynolds" Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional, 931-920-6730) 7 months ago

Joe, a great reminder / information for your local real estate brokers!  Every State seems to be legislating such laws for carbon monoxide and smoke alarms!  Brokers need to be aware of them!

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Realtor Advocate/Short Sale/Loan Modificati (RE/MAX Alliance, www.danhopper.com) 7 months ago

This is a good thing I guess. It's a simple remedy to add another safety measure to the house, but we already have enough paperwork. In our state HUD isn't required to put them in their foreclosures. I wonder how that will work in your state.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) 7 months ago

Joe,

California has been on board with that also.  A

 

Posted by Ron & Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Marketing (ra@napaconsultants.com) 7 months ago

Joe, It's a shame that these need to become laws.  Smoke detectors just seem like a no-brainer to me. Why would people not have them?

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) 7 months ago

Joe: This is very valuable consumer information that I hope reaches the masses in your area.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) 7 months ago

Joe I had heard of this but had forgotten all about it, so thank you for the reminder.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut) 7 months ago

Joe, we have both the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in our home.  I would think these days all homes would have at least smoke detectors.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County (Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate) 7 months ago

Thanks for the information. I didn't know about carbon monoxide test. We don't have to do them here now; however, any time a relocation company is involved, they make it mandatory. I think it's a good idea.

Thanks Joe!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, GRI, Cert Negotiations Expert, Military Relo Prof, The Little REALTOR® That Could (Keller Williams Realty) 7 months ago

Joe: Sad that Realtors don't seem to know about laws of their state. That's why continuing education is so important.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((808) 226-1095 or (831) 626-4000) 7 months ago

Joe  This has been a Colorado law for about a year and a half.  It works.  If the seller forgets to do the the agent better...or BIG penalty.  Most agents just keep them in their office for closing day.

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) 7 months ago

  Wisconsin does require both as well...interesting that there would be an affidavit as well.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) 7 months ago

Not required here in FL as of yet.  But, judging by the other states, it will be here sooner or later.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 7 months ago

This is a very interesting requirement. Hopefully, the requirements will be clarified to reduce the potential liability issues.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Retired Real Estate Broker, Maryland Blogger) 7 months ago

Joe I hope sellers and agents are paying attention to the new rules to avoid the consequences of not implementing the regulation.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) 7 months ago

It seems the government doesn't trust enough to be in charge of our own safety. But I guess there are still some people out there who don't have either and don't care.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) 7 months ago

Joe -- Yes, this will affect all closings after 1/1/14. A notarized affidavit must be provided at closing or sellers have to pay the $250.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR - Fairfield County CT Real Estate (RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Homes for Sale and Real Estate) 7 months ago

I bet this will become a standard in all homes across the country sooner than later!

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) 7 months ago

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