New Septic System Regulations

Selling or buying a home with a septic system has always come with it’s own set of headaches.  Now it’s going to be even tougher – – especially for a seller.  Read on for more information about NJ regulations for the sale of a home with an existing septic system:

A new wastewater regulation was adopted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and took effect on April 2, 2012. The new regulation concerns septic systems and inspection requirements for all real property transfers.

The important points you should know:

  • Sales involving properties with septic systems may take longer to close.
  • Any seller in New Jersey with property having a cesspool cannot complete a sale of that property until a new septic system is installed.
  • The only exception is if the property is sold to a family member.
  • For real estate transactions under contract before April 2, 2012, with closing scheduled prior to June:
    • If a cesspool is in working order and the closing is within 60 days of the April 2 effective date (June 2), the cesspool is not required to be upgraded.
    • If a cesspool requires repairs, the system must be upgraded prior to closing.
    • Clients should consult with their attorneys for detailed information about their obligations.
  • Shared septic systems are no longer allowed. Therefore, if a house with a shared system is to be sold, both properties must install new systems before closing.
  • The new rule does not mandate an inspection; it establishes the protocol for municipalities and inspectors.
  • If an inspection is done, inspectors are required to submit inspection results to the local health department.
  • The regulation requires local health department officials to respond to every report of system malfunction.
  • The health department is required to visit the property even if the inspection report indicates the septic system is working properly.
  • Any other problem identified during the inspection is to be resolved between the parties to the transaction. The seller and buyer may negotiate who is responsible for corrections or upgrades.

Considering a sale?  Septic or no septic, I’d love an opportunity to talk with you.  Please visit my website for more information on the market in Basking Ridge.