Septic system issue during real estate transfer

Septic installation

In 2012 NJ updated the rules concerning septic systems.

Most of the homes surrounding Lake Hopatcong have septic systems. Most of the towns are starting to put in sewers but the majority still have septic tanks. Even though they changed the regulations in 2012, with the latest real estate selling frenzy one of the main parts of the law took some of the sellers by surprise. You are no longer allowed to have a cesspool. You need a leach field instead to be able to sell your home. Even if your system is working perfect you need to change it. Also if you are in the area with sewers you have to shut down your septic and hook into the sewer system. 

For the full rules go to this link N.J.A.C. 7:9A

Here are the highlights: {Is an interpretation or explanation}

  1. Effective June 2, 2012, except as provided at (c) below, all cesspools, privies, outhouses, latrines and pit toilets
    that are part of a real property transfer shall be abandoned and replaced with a system approved engineering design"                                                 means the engineering plans and specifications for construction, installation or
    alteration of the individual subsurface sewage disposal system which have been reviewed and approved by the
    administrative authority (Real estate transfer is the catalyst for addressing the septic system}
  2. A person shall not install, construct, alter or repair an individual subsurface sewage disposal system without
    first obtaining the necessary permits, approvals or certifications as required by this chapter {This is not for amateur's and must be done with all proper permits and permissions|}
  3. The administrative authority shall not approve the construction or alteration of individual subsurface sewage
    disposal systems or other means of private sewage disposal where a sanitary sewer line is available within 100 feet
    of the property to be served.{If there are sewers available you must link up to the sewer regardless of the condition of your septic system}
  4. Connection of the facility to the sanitary sewer line may be accomplished without installing a pump station,
    blasting bedrock, acquiring an easement or right-of-way to cross an adjoining property {Possible exceptions to hook up to Sewer}
  5. The construction, installation, alteration or repair of cesspools, privies, outhouses, latrines and/or pit toilets is
    prohibited.{You can not have a cesspool anymore}A cesspool that is not malfunctioning may continue to serve the structure after a real property transfer only in
  6. the following circumstances: {Possible exceptions to the replacement rule}
    1. A conveyance for a consideration of less than $100.00;
    2. A conveyance by or to the United States of America, the State of New Jersey, or any instrumentality,
    agency or subdivision thereof;
    3. A conveyance encumbering realty, or providing for the modification, release or discharge of a debt,
    obligation or encumbrance, or the foreclosure of a mortgage or lien, or sheriff and execution sales;
    4. A deed which confirms or corrects a deed previously recorded;
    5. A sale for delinquent taxes or assessments and the foreclosure of same;
    6. Judicial proceedings affecting interests in real estate, and documents filed in connection thereto;
    7. A conveyance by a receiver, trustee in bankruptcy or liquidation, or assignee for the benefit of creditors;
    8. A deed eligible to be recorded as an “ancient deed” pursuant to N.J.S.A. 46:16-7;
    9. A deed or map that memorializes subdivisions of land, or which creates or affects easements or restrictions
    or other burdens upon title;
    10. A conveyance between family members or former spouses;
    11. Execution of a lease or license;
    12. In specific performance of final judgment;
    13. A deed releasing a right of reversion;
    14. A deed by a executor or administrator of a decedent to a devisee or heir to effect distribution of the
    decedent’s property in accordance with the provisions of the decedent’s will or the intestacy laws of New
    Jersey, or the passage of title by intestacy or descent; or
    15. A deed to effectuate a boundary line agreement.

You will need an engineering plan that will include a plan for access to the area. Also the size is dependent on how many bedrooms you have in the home. 

A good working septic system should last 25 years. It can be a good investment. A big investment.

It certainly creates a lot of negotiations for every sale. Homes need to be priced taking the costs into consideration. The engendering plans can be between $5-10k and the actual installation $15-40k. 

Good luck!