On March 20, 2020 the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services released a memorandum temporarily permitting the inspections of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, which sellers are normally required (under various provisions of Massachusetts law) to have completed prior to the transfer of title, to be deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify for deferment, the following conditions must be met:
“(a) the parties to the sale or transfer have agreed in writing that the buyer, not the seller, shall be responsible for equipping the dwelling, building, or structure with approved smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms;
(b) the buyer agrees as a condition of taking title to equip the dwelling, building, or structure with approved smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms immediately upon taking title according to the provisions of 527 CMR 1.00, Chapter 13; and
(c) any inspection that would otherwise be required by Sections 26F and 26F½ of Chapter 148 of the General Laws is conducted no more than 90 days after the state of emergency is terminated; and provided further that the head of the fire department for the municipality in which the dwelling, building, or structure is located shall ensure that such inspection is conducted within the required period pursuant to the authority granted by Sections 26E, 26F, and 26F½ of Chapter 148.” (see “Order Permitting the Temporary Conditional Deferral of Certain Inspections of Residential Real Estate”, available at: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-fire-services)
Deferring an inspection is optional (“During the state of emergency, any inspection of a dwelling . . . may be deferred . . .”) and whether a deferment should be used will vary on a loan-to-loan basis, based upon seller, borrower, and lender preferences, as well as the availability of local fire departments to conduct inspections. However, in order to provide a means to meet the conditions outlined above, we will now provide new Cx23809 as an “upon request” document which, when assigned to a client, will print under the following conditions:
- Document Package Type (FI 18215) = Initial Disclosure or Closing
- Loan Purpose (FI 5991) = ConstructionOnly, ConstructionToPermanent, or Purchase
- State Code (Cx2279) = Massachusetts
IMPORTANT NOTE: When assigned, Cx23809 will print mostly under the same conditions of the following two, standard documents:
- MA Certification and Indemnification Agreement (Cx1024)
- MA Certification of Carbon Monoxide Detector (Cx15578)
These two documents are provided for normal situations, in which it is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the inspection of the property has been completed. As such, Cx1024 and Cx15578 are NOT compatible with new Cx23809.
Cx23809 may be assigned immediately. Clients who wish to have it assigned to their institution, or who may have questions or concerns about this document, may contact Client Support at 1.800.497.3584.