Cx1024 is provided due to the provisions of Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 148, §§ 26E & 26F and Mass. Regs. Code tit. 946, § 7.14, the latter two sections requiring the following:
“All buildings or structures occupied in whole or in part for residential purposes and not regulated by sections twenty-six A, twenty-six B or twenty-six C shall, upon the sale or transfer of such building or structure, be equipped by the seller with approved smoke detectors as provided in section twenty-six E.
The head of the fire department shall enforce the provisions of this section. The provisions of section thirty shall not apply to this section.” (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 148, § 26F)
“Notwithstanding the provisions of M.G.L. c. 148, §§ 26E and 26F, all buildings or structures occupied in whole or in part for residential purposes, and not regulated by M.G.L. c. 148, § 26A, 26B or 26C after their initial sale for occupancy shall upon resale, conveyance or transfer of such buildings or structures be equipped by the seller with hard-wired smoke detectors.” (Mass. Regs. Code tit. 946, § 7.14)
Cx1024 is basically split into two parts. The first part is for the seller, wherein the seller certifies that they have complied with Massachusetts’ statutory laws and that the subject property is installed with compliant smoke detectors. The second part is for the borrower, who releases the lender from any liability caused by the seller either not providing any evidence of compliance from the local fire department and/or providing a false certification.
The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services provides a brief summary of the requirements of the above-referenced sections of law, regarding the seller’s responsibility during a sale of residential real estate, as follows:
“Massachusetts General Law, chapter 148 section 26F mandates that upon the sale or transfer of certain homes, the seller must install approved smoke alarms. These requirements apply to residences that were built or modified prior to creation of the Massachusetts State Building Code (January 1, 1975). If a building was built or has undergone renovation, addition or modification after Jan. 1, 1975, the date the building permit was issued determines the smoke alarms requirements of the building code. . . .
After a successful inspection for smoke alarm compliance, the local fire department will issue a Certificate of Compliance indicating that the residence meets the smoke alarm requirements.
Although the law applies to homes built prior to the date of the building code (Jan. 1975), it is industry practice that most purchase and sales agreements, and many mortgage companies require that the seller, as a condition to sell or transfer, obtain a Certificate of Compliance issued by the local fire department, even if the home was permitted or modified after 1975.” (see “Guide to Massachusetts Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Requirements When Selling a One- or Two-Family Residence”, dated December 1, 2016, p. 1; available online directly at: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/11/mv/conumersguidesd-co2016-booklet.pdf).
Currently, Cx1024 is formatted in such a way as to preclude the seller’s obtaining such a “Certificate of Compliance”, even though one is required to be conducted before closing, either because the building predates 1975 or the sales contract or closing instructions requires it. We will, therefore, be changing the language so that it incorporates such a possibility. Some of the changes include:
- Adding this sentence to the end of the first paragraph of the seller’s part of the document: “If I/We have obtained a ‘Certificate of Compliance’ from the local fire department in connection with the sales transaction, I/We certify that copies of such have been provided to the Borrower(s) and Lender.”
- Modifying the first sentence of the borrower’s part of the document to state the following: “I/We, the above named Borrower(s), hereby acknowledge that I/we have been advised of the requirements of Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. chi. 148, §§ 26E & 26F and the enforcement provisions therein contained. I/We have elected to proceed with the loan transaction relying (in whole or in part) on the above warranty, regardless of whether a recent ‘Certificate of Compliance’ has been issued by the local fire department or not.”
These changes will take effect on October 18, 2018. If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please contact Client Support at 1.800.497.3584.