New Residential Disclosure Statement guidance

The General Assembly passed legislation requiring that the Residential Disclosure Statement be amended to include notice regarding a “wastewater system.”   (The language to be included in the Disclosure Statement is set out below.)

Here’s what you need to know about the new form from VAR’s lawyers:

  • Wastewater systems are not specifically defined in the Code of Virginia, and “wastewater systems” is meant as a catchall term for various types of onsite sewage systems regulated by the Virginia Department of Health.
  • As is the case with most other disclosures in the form, the new language imposes no additional obligations on sellers.  It simply advises purchasers to exercise whatever due diligence they deem necessary to determine if the seller’s property has a wastewater system.
  • The new form was adopted by the Virginia Real Estate Board and will be posted to the VAR Forms Center and ZipForm. It will also be posted on the VREB website before July 1.
  • The new form should be given to all buyers to whom a disclosure is given from the effective date on.  For all practical purposes, that means all buyers to whom a disclosure is given from July 1, 2010, forward.  Listing agents should get the new disclosure signed by their sellers and use it from then on in the place of the old form.
  • Buyers who received the old form before that date do not need to receive a new form.  Effective July 1, simply replace the old form with the new form and you’re good to go.  Remember: It doesn’t matter when you took the listing.  If you are giving a form to a prospective buyer on or after July 1, it must be the new disclosure form, regardless of when you took the listing.

The new language in the form is as follows:

WASTEWATER SYSTEM: The undersigned owner(s) makes no representations with respect to the presence of any wastewater system, including the type or size thereof or associated maintenance responsibilities related thereto, located on the property and the purchaser(s) is advised to exercise whatever due diligence the purchaser(s) deems necessary to determine the presence of any wastewater system on the property, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event, prior to settlement pursuant to that contract.

(photo credit)

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6 Responses to New Residential Disclosure Statement guidance

  1. Jim Duncan says:

    Thanks for posting this, Ben. This really highlights the fact that the standard “stomp and sniff” septic “inspection” is worthless.

  2. Pingback: Stompin’ and Sniffin’ Aren’t Good Enough |

  3. Brian Block says:

    Just keeps getting longer and longer…

  4. Wow, and the hits just keep on coming, eh? I have a colleague who recently transferred to the Richmond area, she says that it is incredibly different there (and it didn’t sound like it was in a good way). Best of luck with the new forms.

  5. Doug Francis says:

    This is like the Septic Guy Full Employment Amendment.

    I will have to add this in to my Purchaser’s Estimate Cost Worksheet right after the home inspection, termite inspection, well inspection, and sanity inspection!

  6. Of course, I’m still trying to figure out why it’s called a “disclosure” statement. It seems to disclaim, doesn’t it?

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