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

By
Real Estate Mortgage Broker 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

 

Posted by

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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connecticut regulations
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Rainmaker
1,758,109
Roy Kelley
Retired Real Estate Broker, Maryland Blogger

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

December 17, 2013 05:15 AM
Ambassador
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Jennifer Fivelsdal | Call 845-758-6842 Helping you achieve your real estate goals
In Dutchess Columbia and Ulster Counties
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571

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

December 17, 2013 05:50 AM
Rainmaker
149,264
Suzanne Otto
Your Montgomery County PA home stager
Six Twenty Designs

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.

December 17, 2013 06:38 AM
Rainmaker
578,313
Barbara Altieri
REALTOR - Fairfield County CT Real Estate
RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Homes for Sale and Real Estate

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.

December 17, 2013 02:59 PM
Rainmaker
313,302
Shanna Hall
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311
Real Estate Solutions

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

December 19, 2013 07:05 AM
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Joe Petrowsky

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