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New King County Regulations for On Site Sewage Systems

FEATURED ARTICLE (Provided by Dave Francis of Shannon Escrow)
 

 septic_268

 

 Feb 2011. King County Regulations on OSS and Brokers Responsibilities Underwent Some Change

Last week, one of our senior closers approached me with a situation that caused some delay in closing a purchase transaction. The problem stemmed from a Feb. 2011 change in reporting on OSS (on site sewage) in which a real estate broker had omitted details on the property of an on site sewer (septic tank).  The transaction went sailing along until a look at the title report revealed the presence of a septic system. Our closer scrambled to get the needed documentation, inspection reports, and notice 22-U for the buyers, but King County announced it had changed its reporting requirements to allow for a 15 day review period on these documents. Ultimately, our closer was able to circumnavigate the system a wee bit, and made the transaction close on time, with little or no headache for any party to the transaction. But, this raised some concerns over the new ruling. So, I asked the LPO what brokers need to know when they have a septic system (OSS) on their transaction. Here is that interview:

Q. What is the new Feb. ruling on OSS reporting? 

A.  Public Health- Seattle & King County requires all sellers of properties with onsite sewage systems to have their on-site septic system inspected by a King County licensed On-Site System Maintainer (OSM).  The inspection must be completed and a copy of the report must be given to both the buyer and Public Health before the transfer of title. The OSM must use the King County reporting forms when submitting the inspection report packet to Public Health. For more information about this requirement call the Onsite Septic System Operation and Maintenance Program at 206-296-4932.

A complete copy of the new Title Code 13 is located via link at the end of this article.

Q. Are there new procedures for Real Estate Brokers/Agents?

A. Yes. Brokers/Agents must provide new information. Here are the details:

Sales and transfers of properties with septic systems

Public Health- Seattle & King County requires all sellers of properties with onsite sewage systems to have their on-site septic system inspected by a King County licensed On-Site System Maintainer (OSM).  The inspection must be completed and a copy of the report must be given to both the buyer and Public Health before the transfer of title. The OSM must use the King County reporting forms when submitting the inspection report packet to Public Health. For more information about this requirement call the Onsite Septic System Operation and Maintenance Program at 206-296-4932. Here are the forms for you to use: 

Q. What is the best way to be prepared?

A. a.                Agents should start the inspection process as early as possible and confirm their chosen inspector submits the report and fee as soon as possible to the County Health Dept.  Inspectors (often referred to as OSM) have 30 days to submit their reports and fees, however, your purchase contract may expire before the OSM's 30 days are up!  Escrow is required to confirm the County Heath Department has received the report, the fee and approved closing.  If your OSM does not get the report and fee to the county, it will delay funding!

 b.                Agents should confirm the Form 22U is recorded as soon as possible!  If the 22U is already recorded and showing on title, agents should provide a recorded copy to the buyer(s) and have buyer(s) acknowledge receipt of recorded document as early as possible

 c.                If the 22U is not recorded yet, agent should prepare and have it recorded as soon as possible!  Agent should following up with providing a recorded copy to the buyer(s) and have buyer(s) acknowledge receipt of recorded document as early as possible

Q. Is there a "GOTO" Guy at King County Health in case I have questions?

A. Yes.   

doug.jones@kingcounty.gov   Doug provided all of the information here, and is also available at the number listed above.

Q. How can all of this affect my closing?

A.

Closing escrow will be delayed if the following items have not been completed prior to closing:

1)     Verification from the County Health Department they have received, reviewed and approved OSS Report and Fee prior to closing

2)     Buyer to provide to escrow (or sign with escrow) Buyer's Declaration of Receipt of recorded On-Site Sewage Notice From 22U

3)     On-Site Notice recorded at the county (if not already recorded and shown on title)

 

A completed copy of the "Escrow Checklist for Residential Property Sales in King County Served by a Septic System"

is here:

OSS Escrow Check List

 Q. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.  Is there one really good resource for Brokers/Agents find all of this information in one spot?

A. You are most welcome. We want every real estate transaction to close smoothly, and on time. Sometimes, these new rule changes make it nearly impossible. And, yes, everything about this is located in one easy place at the King County Website:

http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/wastewater.aspx

The Cascade Team Real Estate

Full Service Real Estate with 1% Listing Fees!!

2 Responses to "New King County Regulations for On Site Sewage Systems"

Stephen Lamphear wrote: My neighbor's current selling experience indicates there is more red tape than explained here. The appears to require the recording of both the original permit for OSS and the as-built.

I see the requirement for an as-built on the county application form but can't find any reference to that requirement in Title 13. For older homes (mine is 1954), it is likely nothing was required to be filed at that time. My near-50 year old septic system is working fine and is pumped regularly but I don't have a map of the leach field (no as-built).

Can you refer me to the authority to require an as-built be filed before sale?

Thanks
Cory Self wrote: It always pays to speak with a pro who can keep on top of the latest changes in regulations. Superior Septic Pros can connect you with someone local in your area if you need. Best of luck.

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