The Peggy Patenaude Team | Top Producing Real Estate Agents in Andover, MA

Smoke Inspections During the Covid-19 Emergency

In Massachusetts, it is legally required that the sellers provide a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Certificate commonly referred to as "smoke inspections” at closing to the new buyer. There are general guidelines put out by the state and local cities/towns that can have additional requirements. 

The smoke certificate is issued by the town or city’s fire department and ensures the buyer that the home is up to the current code. With the recent coronavirus pandemic and guidelines on social distancing, it has become increasingly difficult to schedule these inspections. Many towns and cities have stopped conducting inspections for the safety of their employees.

On March 20, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order stating that smoke and carbon monoxide inspections can now be completed within 90 days after closing by the buyers, rather than the sellers.

At The Peggy Patenaude Team we recommend sellers get their homes up to code prior to the sale of their home. While this does not replace a passed smoke inspection, a member of our team will make recommendations for getting your home up to code.

The order assures that closings can move forward as scheduled. 

A smoke inspection can only be deferred during the COVID-19 State of Emergency if it follows these conditions set forth by the order:  

The Parties to the sale or transfer have agreed in writing that the buyer assumes responsibility for equipping the property with approved smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.

 The buyer agrees as a condition of taking title to equip the property with approved smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms immediately upon taking title.

An inspection as otherwise required under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 148, Sections 26F and 26F½ occurs no more than 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted.

MAR has specifically developed an addendum that addresses the exact requirements of the emergency order.