Information for Real Estate Agents

Title 5 Inspection Process Information for Real Estate Agents

Do you need an inspection at this time?

A title 5 inspection is good for 2 years, and may be extended to 3 years if the system has been pumped each year since the last inspection (documented).

If the system is new and a Certificate of Compliance has been issued, this is good for 3 years without an inspection if the system is pumped in the third year (documented).

The owner of the dwelling may extend the inspection to 6 months beyond the date of transfer of real estate if weather conditions (winter) preclude the inspection process.

There are exceptions to the above. Click here for Title 5 regulations and go to Section 15.301.

Title 5 Inspections in Foothills' Health District towns: (Ashfield, Goshen, Williamsburg, Whately)

* All title 5 inspections are required to be witnessed by the health agent.

* You or your client will arrange for the inspector, and the inspector will arrange the date with the health agent. The health agent will not schedule a title 5 inspection with anyone except the inspector.

* Lead time for an inspection may be one to several weeks, depending on the season. Plan ahead.

* Need a title 5 inspector? Click here.

* A witness fee of $125.00 is required at the time of the inspection. If you are handling this, make arrangements for payment in advance.

* Payment shall be a check written to the town.

* Pumping of the septic tank is NOT required at the time of inspection.

* You must arrange for access to the inside of the house so that we can view plumbing, verify garbage disposals, etc.

* Inspectors are not recommended in winter due to frozen ground and other factors. Ask the inspector for their recommendation.

* Some inspections result in a "conditional pass"; generally these are inspections where some small repair is required. Upon successful repair, the Board of Health (agent) will issue a statement of "full pass." Reinspection by the health agent may be required.

* An inspection may result in "needs further evaluation by the Board of Health"; this frequently occurs if a well is closer to a leach field than the current Title 5 code. The safety of the system is further evaluated with a drinking water test.

* Got a garbage disposal at the house? If the original septic design does not allow for this, the health agent will issue a verbal or written notice to remove it, and perform a follow up inspection of the kitchen to verify its removal.

* Some towns have a policy about inspecting a dwelling that is unoccupied. Please call the health agent to discuss this.

Other questions not addressed here? Please contact Valerie Bird, Health Agent, at (413) 268-8404.