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

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Mortgage and Lending with Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 NMLS # 6869
 “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

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com

www.righttracfg.com

www.joepetrowsky.com

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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

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Ambassador
1,086,306
Debbie Reynolds
Prudential PenFed Realty, "The Real Debbie Reynolds" Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional, 931-920-6730 - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

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.

Dec 16, 2013 09:41 AM #1
Rainer
284,911
Dan Hopper
RE/MAX Alliance, www.danhopper.com - Westminster, CO
Denver Realtor Advocate/Short Sale/Loan Modificati

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!

Dec 16, 2013 09:43 AM #2
Ambassador
868,954
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

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.

Dec 16, 2013 10:35 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,375,204
Ron & Alexandra Seigel
ra@napaconsultants.com - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Marketing

Joe,

California has been on board with that also.  A

 

Dec 16, 2013 11:12 AM #4
Ambassador
1,296,115
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale - San Jose Probate Agent

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?

Dec 16, 2013 11:16 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,398,304
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

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

Dec 16, 2013 02:32 PM #6
Ambassador
1,869,361
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

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

Dec 16, 2013 05:30 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,419,405
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

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.

Dec 16, 2013 06:37 PM #8
Rainmaker
608,891
Patricia Feager, MBA, GRI, Cert Negotiations Expert, Military Relo Prof
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
The Little REALTOR® That Could

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!

Dec 16, 2013 08:52 PM #9
Rainmaker
572,384
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(808) 226-1095 or (831) 626-4000
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

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

Dec 16, 2013 09:33 PM #10
Rainmaker
382,265
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

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.

Dec 16, 2013 09:56 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,390,816
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

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

Dec 17, 2013 04:00 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,866,520
Gabe Sanders
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

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

Dec 17, 2013 04:34 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,998,614
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

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

Dec 17, 2013 05:15 AM #14
Ambassador
1,447,144
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

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

Dec 17, 2013 05:50 AM #15
Rainmaker
197,812
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

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.

Dec 17, 2013 06:38 AM #16
Rainmaker
616,453
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

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.

Dec 17, 2013 02:59 PM #17
Rainmaker
338,779
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

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

Dec 19, 2013 07:05 AM #18
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